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Speech and Language Problems Caused by Parkinson’s Disease

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Speech and Language Problems Caused by Parkinson’s Disease

Typically, when people think of symptoms caused by Parkinson’s disease (PD), they think of the motor symptoms, such as tremors and problems walking. But, many people with the disease experience speech, language, and swallowing problems. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t recognize the changes as being related to PD, so they don’t report them to the doctor and receive treatment.

Elderly Care Rolling Hills CA - Speech and Language Problems Caused by Parkinson’s Disease

Elderly Care Rolling Hills CA – Speech and Language Problems Caused by Parkinson’s Disease

Speech Problems

People with PD often have trouble communicating with others. Part of the problem may be in the reduction of facial expressions that many people experience. The faces of people with PD have been described as “mask-like” because their emotions don’t show on their face. Add to that the speech problems of PD and talking to others can be very frustrating.

Some of the speech problems that can occur with PD are:

Hypophonia: Hypophonia is a reduction in volume, making it sound like the person is whispering.

Dysarthria: This is having trouble articulating certain sounds and syllables.

Monotone: People with PD may not seem to express emotion in their speech because they lose some ability to vary their pitch.

Language Problems

Language problems have to do with cognitive problems that impede the older adult’s ability to communicate clearly. People with PD might have trouble finding the right word to say or develop problems with grammar. One thing you may notice is that their sentences are simpler than they used to be.

Swallowing Problems

Swallowing problems are often included in discussions concerning speech and language problems because they also involve the use of mouth and throat muscles. Swallowing problems can cause the senior to cough or clear their throat a lot while eating or drinking. Some people experience a feeling of having food stuck in their throat. They may also choke while eating. The doctor may recommend a change in diet to include more foods that are easier to swallow and less likely to cause choking. In addition, the senior may undergo swallow therapy where they will learn exercises that can strengthen the muscles involved in swallowing.

While speech, language, and swallowing symptoms are difficult to deal with, an elderly care provider can assist seniors with PD to better communicate with others. An elderly care provider can drive the older adult to therapy appointments. Elderly care providers can also act as an interpreter for the senior when they are out in public or visiting with others. Because the elderly care provider is likely to be experienced with older adults who have speech and language problems, they will be better able to understand what the person is saying and help them to get their meaning across.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Rolling Hills CA, please contact the caring staff at 1Heart Care Services today.

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