The human body changes every minute of every day. It constantly creates, destroys, and rejuvenates the body cells. There are constant processes that the body needs to undergo to live continuously. As the body ages, there are expected changes in the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of each person.

The most common expectation of aging is the physical function. Hearing and eyesight may not be as sharp as it was before. Physical movements may not be as flexible as a decade before. Also, in the cognitive part, reacting to daily situations may not be as accurate as before. Seniors may understand things differently than the usual stuff they are used to encounter every day. Speech changes in Seniors can significantly affect the way they communicate with the people around them. And not surprisingly, speech changes can happen to the senior population too.

Changes in physical attributes of speech

The muscles in the larynx and the vocal cords work hand in hand in producing sound. Just like in many areas of human health, aging can jumpstart an avalanche of bodily changes, including changes in speech among seniors. The body parts responsible for producing voice may start to weaken, and vocal cords are losing its elasticity.

If you feel there are changes in your speech recently or have observed in someone else, it is essential to know the causes of this condition and what you can do about it.

Aging and its effects on speech

Aging can bring many physical changes in the body. It is not clearly understood why the body ages. As a person ages, the body loses its elasticity and flexibility. The muscles become weaker, and this includes the muscles lining in the jaw and throat. Along with the throat, muscle weakness is the changes in the tissues and glands in the body. This could greatly affect the speech of the elderly leading to shaky, hoarse, and modified pitch.

Other disorders and diseases could also affect speech along with the aging body. For example, if a person has Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia, or Stroke, these conditions are directly proportional to the changes in a person’s ability to talk and communicate. Certain medications, injury, and underlying causes may be to blame.

Signs of speech changes in seniors

Changes in the speech may not be easy to recognize in the early stage of aging. Sometimes, changes in speech may just be mistaken as a result of flu, cough, and sneezing. The telltale signs of speech changes in Seniors include:

  • Changes in cognition
  • Difficulties participating in a conversation
  • Difficulty producing certain sounds or saying certain words
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness and changes in pitch
  • Loss of hearing

If you feel any of these signs or if you observe them in your loved ones, you may want to set an appointment with your Geriatric Doctor to diagnose the underlying cause of the speech changes properly. If you are worried about you or your loved one’s deteriorating speech, see your doctor for speech problem treatments appropriate for you or your loved one’s condition.

 

About Paul Fiscus

Paul Fiscus is the director of Maplewood of Sauk Prairie.