BHSM Stories: Allied Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Photo at lobby display, from left: Katie Gatto, SLP; Mallory Jones, SLP; Jill Stacchiotti, SLP; and Ed Hebert, SLP
This month, the Speech/Language Therapy staff of the Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center proudly celebrates Better Speech and Hearing Month. Staff use this opportunity to share with fellow employees, residents and families information about the scope of service provided by speech/language pathologists in general but specifically about services provided at Allied Skilled Nursing facility on Smallacombe Drive in Scranton.
Improving Daily Communication for Residents
Four therapists work with residents and staff to address problems of language communication due to stroke, swallowing disorders due to prolonged illness, and/or neurologic/neuromuscular diseases as well as language/cognition disorders related to dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Therapies are provided such as assisting with memory skills, thinking of words, and being more aware of surroundings for improved functional daily communication.
Helping Residents on Ventilators to Speak Again
This Allied facility is the only skilled nursing center in northeastern Pennsylvania with a dedicated vent unit, for residents who are dependent upon tracheotomies and ventilators for respiratory support. Speech/language staff work in conjunction with respiratory therapy staff to assist residents develop functional daily communication. Some residents may use communication boards or devices and others are fit with speaking valves which they use in conjunction with respiratory ventilators, so they can communicate with staff and loved ones.
Returning Residents with Swallowing Disorders to Eat Safely
Diet management is also a major part of the therapists' role in the facility. Residents who present with swallowing disorders are evaluated and treated by the speech/language therapists to re-establish safe eating patterns. Some residents are admitted to the facility unable to eat or drink and rely on special tube feedings for nutrition. Speech/language therapy staff analyze swallow muscle patterns and guide residents back to safe regular eating as feasible.
Ed Hebert, SLP