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Some Of The Best Speech Therapy Exercises For Stroke Patients
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you are looking for speech therapy for yourself or for a loved one, a language disorder is likely involved. Aphasia is one of the most common stroke-related speech disorders. It is important to know if this issue is affecting you or your loved one, if you need a speech therapist, and some simple exercises that can help.

What is aphasia?

This is a disorder that affects communication and speech. It is often associated with strokes, particularly those that have occurred in the left side of the brain. Those who have suffered from strokes and aphasia are not less intelligent. They struggle with speaking, reading, writing, or comprehending speech. There are several different types of aphasia that can be treated with speech therapy.

Global Aphasia

This can happen after a stroke that affects the front and back portions of the left hemisphere of the brain. People with global aphasia experience difficulty with understanding and expressing themselves.

Wernicke's Aphasia (receptive)

Stroke patients who have Wernicke's aphasia may say words that do not make sense (made-up words), make sentences out of a string of words that aren’t associated, or use words incorrectly.

Broca's Aphasia (expressive)

This type of aphasia happens when a stroke affects the frontal regions of the left hemisphere. This part of the brain is associated with how sentences are formed. Stroke patients with Broca’s aphasia may have trouble forming complete sentences, use gibberish, or speak a word that is close to something else but not correct. Patients are able to comprehend but struggle to produce the words to respond. At times, it can be difficult for them to follow directions.

Speech exercises that can help stroke patients

These types of exercises vary in difficulty and can be done with a professional or at home. Sometimes the simple ones are better than the more complicated ones. The following are some easy speech therapy exercises you can use at home. Remember that repetition is the secret to effective speech exercises.

1. Exercises using your tongue. There are many ways you can use your tongue to help you with speech therapy. You can stick your tongue out for two seconds and pull it back in or move it side to side and up and down. Repeat this as much as you can.

2. Practice in front of a mirror. You can smile and relax your mouth while looking in a mirror. This will help you get feedback on your movements. After you are done, you can make kissy faces in front of the mirror.

3. Pair vowels and consonants. If there is a consonant that you have trouble saying, pair it with each vowel (a, e, i, o, u) and say it repeatedly. For example, if your struggle with your R’s, say “ra, re, ri, ro, and ru” ten to twenty times.

4. Use word and puzzle games. Crossword and word search puzzles are great for visual processing and problem solving. Sudoku is great for comprehension. There are even apps for your phone or tablet that can help with speech therapy.

5. Sing! Singing, a right-brain function, can help those who can still speak and even those who cannot speak at all. Retraining your brain will help you strengthen the left-brain function of speaking after a stroke.

Working with a speech therapist

Some of the best speech therapy exercises for stroke patients happen with a professional. These therapists know how to give you a personalized exercise plan to help you communicate better. They may work alongside physical therapists or occupational therapists to help reach your goals. The overall goal of ALL your healthcare professionals is to help you heal.

Speech therapy for stroke patients in Amarillo, Texas

If you are looking for professional speech therapy for yourself or a loved one, Bivins Pointe in Amarillo is here for you. Our caring professionals can help with speech, occupational, and physical rehabilitation and recovery. We have a beautiful facility with private rooms, 24 hour nursing care, and other amenities. In addition, we also have our outpatient clinic, the Bfit Gym. Give us a call at (806) 350-2206 or come by 6600 Killgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas to tour our facilities.


Amarillo's Prayer Breakfast
Posted By: Becky Davis

In the 50’s and 60’s Amarillo’s “Cotton” John was our most well-known radio celebrity. He was the Farm Director for KGNC radio and yes I know that fits into our stereo typical profile of someone from Texas, Stetson hat and all, but who cares he was ours. Every day at 6:00 am he would start his ag-report by saying; “Good morning, this is the best part of the Golden Spread day.”

Now I know this because my dad would get up every morning at 5:30 am to start the coffee and turn the radio on, which was sitting on the kitchen cabinet next to my brother and mine’s bedroom door. Whether we wanted to or not, Doug and I grew up to be morning people -- well I did anyway.

I love early morning for a lot of reasons. First, there is no one else up to bother you (cynical I know). Second, it is like starting with a fresh sheet of paper that you can write or draw anything you want. Third, it is a wonderful time to pray and read God’s word.

The third reason is why I am writing this blog about getting up, as some of you might put it, EARRRRLY.

Every year, on the Tuesday just before Thanksgiving, Amarillo has its annual Prayer Breakfast. It has grown to be one of the best attended prayer breakfasts in the nation. It features a well done breakfast, the joint choirs of all the Amarillo high schools, a well-known speaker, some serious prayer and it is all done in time for people to get to work on time.

*This year, Chad Hennings will be the featured speaker. Chad has lived an exciting life that includes winning the Super Bowl 3 times with the Dallas Cowboys and flying 45 successful combat missions with the United States Air Force. Currently Chad is an author and sought-after speaker who has taken his message of “a lifestyle of excellence” to some of the most distinguished executive audiences across the world.

Bivins has had a representative every year since I have been with them. This year Bivins Pointe has a table for eight and I would like to invite any of you that might like to attend to let me or Becky Davis know. Even if our table fills and someone would still like to go, we will provide a ticket - there is always room. Breakfast starts at 6:00 am and the program will start at 6:45 am. It will be over by 8:00 am to make sure people can get to work.

 Please let me know at - Jeff (806) 673-1197 or leave a message for Becky (806) 350-2206

 As always I am praying for you.

Jeff Messer, Bivins Chaplain

*from amarilloprayerbreakfast.com


4 Easy Speech Therapy Exercises For Stroke Patients
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you or a loved one have had a stroke, you know that rehabilitation therapy is vital to recovery. It is likely you or your family member have trouble talking, coming up with words, or reading and writing. This condition is known as aphasia. You may also struggle with eating or drinking.

Speech therapy is designed to help with these issues and get you back to communicating. It is best to work with a professional speech therapist during recovery, but there are some things you can do on your own too.

What is aphasia?

This condition affects those who have had a stroke. It prevents many patients from speaking, understanding speech, thinking of words, and reading or writing. Aphasia is a result of brain damage and will show in patients in unique ways. The good news is that this condition can be treated through speech therapy, prescription medications, and art therapy, among other treatments. Not every patient will recover in the same way, but every patient should seek recovery and healing.

The key to successful speech therapy

Having a speech therapist work with you or your loved one is one of the most important steps in healing. These experts help patients find out what areas of speech they need help with and create a plan to follow during recovery. They work personally with patients to develop speech patterns, word recognition, and comprehension. You or your loved one may also be placed in therapy groups so that conversational skills can be improved. Repetition is vital in speech therapy, so it is important to attend all sessions and do exercises at home.

What kind of exercises will the therapist provide?

Although speech therapy in a professional setting is important, there are many things you and your family member can do to recover speech abilities. These include simple, repetitive exercises and adapting normal daily tasks to suit your needs. Ask your speech therapist about how often you can do exercises on your own or with your loved one.

Tongue movements

Moving your tongue in and out of your mouth, from side to side, and up and down is easy and fast. Do each movement for two seconds for the best results. For example, start by moving your tongue out of your mouth, holding it for two seconds, and then bringing it back in for two seconds. These exercises are best done in front of a mirror so you can make sure you are doing them correctly. Family members can also help with the exercise.

Singing therapy

Melodic intonation therapy, or singing therapy, allows stroke patients to sing words and sentences when they cannot speak. It is thought that this is possible because singing is a right-brain function, while speaking is a left-brain function. This typically only works for those who have had a left-hemisphere stroke.

Practicing sounds

After you have done tongue exercises, you can practice sounds. This involves repeating letters and sounds in groups or individually. For example, you can try saying one letter you have trouble speaking or pair it with the vowels a, e, i, o, and u to create other noises. Try saying these ten to twenty times each.

Other speech therapy exercises

Smartphone apps are becoming more popular when it comes to health. There are apps to help with weight loss, apps for mental health, and even apps that help with speech therapy. These can evaluate you or your loved one’s current speech abilities and provide customized exercises. Although they don’t replace a speech therapist, apps can be a valuable resource to those who cannot afford rehabilitation therapy.

Patients can also play games on the computer like solitaire or do crosswords. These help with comprehension, visual processing, and problem solving.

Adapting tasks and chores is another way you and your family member can add speech therapy exercises into your day. For example, you can say items out loud when making a grocery list or read them from a store flyer. Reading the newspaper with a family member also provides therapy opportunities. Try finding specific sections or going over the weather. Looking at family photos and remembering events can be helpful as well.

Speech therapy in Amarillo, Tx

Adding speech therapy exercises to you or a loved one’s daily routine can enhance recovery. If you or your family member have too much trouble with these exercises, ask your speech therapist how best to adapt simple tasks to your routine.

If you would like to learn more about speech therapy, contact the experts at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, TX today by calling 806.350.2200. We offer speech, physical, and occupational therapy, as well as fitness memberships at our Bfit gym.

Bivins Pointe also has volunteer opportunities, activities and luxury amenities for all of our patients and residents.

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The Basics Of Post-Surgery Rehabilitation: 3 FAQs And Answers
Posted By: Becky Davis

If you or a loved one have been injured, or are recovering from a surgery, you may need rehabilitation and therapy. You may be full of questions at a time that is already stressful. It is important to learn as much as you can about the facilities that you or your loved one may be staying in. Doing research and asking questions will ensure that you are making the best choice for your entire family. Although there are many different questions that you may have, here are a few common ones to start with.

What is rehabilitation therapy?

There are several types of rehabilitation therapies. The most common types are speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Your doctor may decide that you need one type of therapy or a combination of them after surgery. Many facilities offer all types of rehabilitative services under one roof, which makes recovery easier. A quality care team, along with the patient's doctor, will create a customized care plan.

getting the most of rehabilitation after surgery in Amarillo, Texas

Speech therapy

Speech rehabilitation therapy allows patients to get their ability to talk, chew, swallow, and speak clear and loud back. It can also help with cognitive language skills like reasoning, memory, and problem-solving. Speech therapy should also include techniques for patients and their families to use at home to maintain results.

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps patients to live their daily lives after they return home. Occupational therapy needs can vary depending on the illness or procedure that you or your loved one are experiencing. Using adaptive equipment, like special beds or chairs, patients can achieve independence and healing. Checking the patient's home and making any needed changes is an important step in this recovery.

This post-surgery rehab therapy also includes helping patients regain their independence in self-care. This can include personal hygiene, cooking, and cleaning. Teaching the patient and their family important safety information and tips will help to ensure lasting benefits after returning home.

Physical therapy

Physical rehabilitation therapy can help you or your loved one regain and improve the use of areas affected by surgery or injury. A physical therapist can help patients with coordination, strength, and mobility. This type of therapy also focuses on improving balance, motor control, and endurance for both daily and strenuous tasks. Focusing on safety and proper body mechanics also helps ensure lasting benefits after leaving the rehabilitation center.

How safe is rehabilitation after surgery?

Safety is an important topic to discuss when choosing the right rehabilitation facility. Even if it is for a short time, leaving your home for therapy can be frightening. A quality facility should have the knowledge and tools to ensure that you or your loved one can recover quickly and without further injury. For example, there are a few lifting methods used in rehabilitation. These include lift machines, gait belts, and manual physical lifting by strong staff members.

Some facilities prefer their staff use tools and machines (like the the No-Lift system) as often as possible. Smart bed technology can also improve safety for your loved one using sensors that alert staff when a patient is trying to leave their bed. They can then help the patient with their needs. Ask for a tour of the facility so that you can see the security of the building and grounds, railing and ramps, and equipment.

Is it comfortable at post-surgery rehab facilities?

Almost as important as safety is the subject of patient comfort. It is important to find a facility that is welcoming and comfortable. Many rehabilitation centers offer rooms that feel like home, with comfortable furniture, phones, and cable. Some have gyms, pools, and even spas. Be sure to ask about what food will be available, social events, and recreational activities as well.

To make you or your loved one's stay more comfortable, there are some items that you can bring. Pack plenty of you or your loved ones favorite comfortable clothes, including pajamas and a jacket. You should label all personal items with your name. Don't forget important documents like insurance cards and state ID, as well as preferred hygiene items.

Ask the facility about visiting hours and how involved you can be with your loved one's care. Scheduling a tour can help you find out more about available amenities.

Rehabilitation after surgery in Amarillo, TX

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Understanding Speech Rehabilitation Therapy And Its Benefits
Posted By: Becky Davis

Patients who have swallowing difficulty or communication problems need a diagnosis and treatment. This is where speech rehabilitation therapy becomes a useful tool. Patients with medical conditions like brain injury, stroke, and developmental delays can all benefit from speech rehab. The following can help you better understand if this therapy is right for your needs.

The speech pathologist and their training

Your speech therapist should have a master of arts or sciences degree in communication sciences or speech-language pathology. These professionals must spend several semesters working in externships. These provide hands-on training in hospitals, schools, or clinics.

A speech therapist must also pass a national exam and be certified to practice. They are given a Certificate of Clinical Competency. This gives them the right to have one of the letter designations after their name of M.S., M.A., or CCC-SLP. Continuing education is required for these therapists if they want to stay certified and licensed to practice.

The differences between speech therapists and other professionals

A patient may have difficulties that a speech pathologist and an occupational therapist can help solve. So, both therapists may have overlapping goals for you. The speech therapist's focus will be on helping you with communication issues, including reading and writing. The occupational therapist might work with you on thinking or cognitive skills. All these are important for your ability to perform daily life functions. With occupational therapy, the focus is on helping you do things, instead of only communicating.

Speech therapists will also help you if you have issues swallowing food. They are trained to know how to help your unique needs, especially if you have difficulty after a stroke or illness. If changes to your diet need to be made, they can suggest easier types to chew and swallow.

Returning back to “normal” after speech rehabilitation therapy

Be careful with the expectation that you or a loved one will return back to “normal" after rehabilitation therapy. This is a relative term that can mean different things to different people. It may not be realistic to expect a complete, 100 percent recovery depending on the nature of the condition. Speech therapists will help you develop and meet customized treatment goals and help you get independence back. For example, many kinds of neurological traumas, illnesses, head injuries, or strokes can leave residual speech deficits. These may persist even after you have completed speech rehabilitation.

Speech therapists are there for you to provide resources and referrals that you may need as well. They can help you find counseling services and even work with a nutritionist during your therapy for long-term healing.

Speech therapy services in Amarillo, TX

For more information about speech Rehabilitation and Recovery and other types of rehab therapy, contact the experts at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas. We have many Volunteer opportunities and would be happy to tell you more about our Amenities and the Bfit Gym. Contact us via email or call (806) 350-2200 for help with questions about your care or that of a loved one. You can also visit us in person at 6600 Kilgore Dr. in Amarillo, Texas to tour our facilities.

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How Stroke Patients Can Benefit From Speech Therapy
Posted By: Becky Davis
Experiencing a stroke is a catastrophic event that can result in temporary or permanent paralysis on one side of the body. Other bodily functions that can be changed by a stroke include vision, balance, cognition, speech, and memory. Unfortunately, pain and muscle spasms are common complications when you have a stroke. All these issues have the potential to make it difficult for you to handle daily tasks such as dressing and bathing. Difficulty communicating is one of the most serious complications of having a stroke. Many patients have a decrease in speaking capability once they have experienced this malady. Studies show that aphasia, a disorder which impairs your ability to process language, occurs in about 20 to 40 percent of stroke patients. It does not affect intelligence, but makes it hard to understand others, communicate with them, and affects your ability to read and write. The following details how rehabilitation therapists can help and how speech therapy benefits those who have suffered from a stroke. How occupational therapists can help Stroke patients can recovery quicker when they receive quality occupational and rehabilitation therapy. Research studies show that when occupational therapists (OT) work with a patient, they are more likely to return to their daily lives. Occupational therapists are instrumental in helping their patients find new ways of living that benefit themselves and their loved ones. An initial observation and evaluation will be conducted by the OT to find out what their patient's needs are. Therapists are a vital resource because they provide professional attention and have an understanding of the challenges that are a part of surviving this condition. The OT is in a position to recommend a speech-language pathologist consultation if their patient has ongoing problems with speaking and swallowing. Within the weeks and months that follow a stroke, many survivors make large gains by using speech therapy. With the help of a speech-language pathologist, many patients will see improvement beyond that time frame. The speech-language pathologist's role in rehabilitation Speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists (SLP,) are essential members of the patient care team. They diagnose, assess, and treat disorders having to do with voice, language, speech, cognitive communication, the ability to swallow, and other issues. The ultimate goal for the speech-language pathologist is to help their patients reach the highest level of communication function and language possible. How an SLP can help stroke victims The inability to swallow is a common example of an issue that speech therapy can help stroke victims overcome. This kind of issue makes it difficult for a person to function independently. A treatment plan is prepared by the SLP after they evaluate a patient. They could recommend participation in a group therapy to improve conversational skills through taking turns and clarifying ideas. They might also retrain word retrieval for stroke survivors through specific strategies. Role playing by pretending to have interactions with others helps the patient as well. SLPs work with their patient's other therapists during the recovery process to provide the best care possible. An example of this would be working with an occupational therapist to help the patient return to work or school. They could also work with the employer, an educational specialist, and the victim's family to modify the environment to meet their unique needs. Swallowing function evaluation The ability to swallow is one of the most important skills needed by a stroke survivor. In order for them to return to independent living, this skill is essential, so it will be monitored as they recover. The SLP evaluates this and makes recommendations about feeding techniques, the proper position, and changes that need to be made in food and drink consistency. Speech therapy also involves education for the patient, and their family or caregivers, about any adaptations needed for daily living. Do you or a loved one need professional speech therapy? If you need Rehabilitation Therapy services, including speech therapy and occupational therapy, contact the experts at Bivins Pointe in Amarillo, Texas today. You can also find out more about our Events, the Bfit Gym, our Amenities, and our current Volunteer opportunities. Call us at (806) 350-2200 for more information or Contact Us by email. You can also visit us in person at 6600 Killgore Drive in Amarillo.

Guest Blog: 5 Creative Ways to Keep Senior Minds Sharp & Active
Posted By: Becky Davis

5 Creative Ways to Keep Senior Minds Sharp & Active

Aging not only brings about a lot of physical changes, but mental ones, too. Case in point, the 
World Health Organization posits that around 15% of adults aged 60 and up suffer from one cognitive disease or another. And while some of these changes are inevitable due to age, there are certainly a few things you can do that'll keep you and your loved ones mentally fit. Read on for 5 tips to keep a senior's mind sharp and active!

Listen to Classical Music


People have long linked classical music to cognitive functions. 
An experiment conducted by psychologists at Northumbria University have found that classical music, specifically Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, can enhance mental alertness and memory. Participants in the experiment reportedly performed better in cognitive tests, which required mental-concentration, when listening to Vivaldi's piece. What's more interesting is the most obvious increase in performance happened during the Spring concerto, which exhibits a more spry sound, as compared to the more somber Autumn concerto.

Continued Studies


 Researchers from the University of California have found that adults can get over the negative effects of cognitive aging through continuous learning. This is a big finding, as more and more seniors across America have gone back to the classroom in their golden years, either to pursue previously unexplored passions or to finish degrees they never got to complete in their youth. These days, not only do they have the time and resources to pursue a degree, but there are also more options now for avid learners of all ages. Maryville University’s guide to traditional versus online degrees points out that the two differ mostly in terms of distance and scheduling. If your retired loved one is looking to enroll in a traditional school, then it’s important to keep in mind how far their prospective university is from their homes, and what time of day their classes will be held. On the other hand, seniors with mobility issues may also consider taking the online option, which lets them learn more about their chosen topics from the comforts of their home. What’s more, here in Texas, seniors can even attend up to six hours of undergraduate or graduate courses from public universities for free if they request for the exemption.

Sleep


Sleep isn't just a period of recovery for our bodies, as it's also the time our brains process everything that happened within the day. And while many adults sleep a lot less than they did in their youth due to work and other responsibilities, seniors and older adults cannot afford to do the same. That's because they have a difficult time forming memories compared to younger people. This means people that are a little more advanced in age need to adhere to a strict 8-hour sleeping schedule to maintain their cognitive functions.

Play Games and Puzzles

University of Konstanz's research on chess has found the game to be a great memory exercise. Chess incentivizes players to memorize thousands of possible moves (along with the optimal counter-moves), thereby providing our brains with the necessary activity to keep them sharp. Other puzzle games such as Sudoku have also been known to help individuals remain mentally active — in some cases even warding off the onset of cognitive impairments.

Exercise



Physical exercise is also linked to your mental capacities. 
Professors from the kinesiology department at the University of Illinois have found that people who exercised regularly tended to fare better in cognitive tasks than those who didn't. Individuals who exercised on a regular basis were also observed to exhibit greater mental focus. While this option may be a little harder for those advanced in age, simply walking in the morning will suffice.

 

Article specially written for bivinspointe.org

By Bianca Adkins