Let’s face it, it’s not fun getting older. Body parts give in to gravity, reflexes and movements get slower, and our vision and hearing weaken. As if that wasn’t enough, stroke risk increases with age and the older you get the more likely you are to develop dementia. While stroke and dementia are 2 conditions that are very complicated, they do have one thing in common: speech and language are affected. The range to which speech is affected varies from case to case but help is available. Luckily there are professionals called Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) trained to assess and treat many types of communication and swallowing problems including ones stemming from stroke or dementia and in many instances are covered under Medicare.
First let’s discuss two of the more common reasons you are likely to need speech therapy, having dementia and having a stroke.
A stroke is one of the most common reasons adults receive speech therapy. The left hemisphere of the brain houses the language center. If you have a left hemisphere stroke or brain injury, aphasia often occurs. Aphasia is the loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage. Meeting with a Speech-Language Pathologist will get you a formal diagnosis as to whether you have aphasia or no. They will set up with a treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery. Post stroke rehabilitation is possible and a Speech-Language Pathologist is an integral part of recovery.
Another common reason older adults receive speech therapy is because they suffer from dementia. Dementia is a condition that causes memory loss and other thinking problems that worsen over time. Once diagnosed, the goal of any treatment is to maintain the patients quality of life for as long as possible. This is where a Speech-Language Pathologist is beneficial. A SLP can work on attention, memory, problem-solving, and higher-level thinking skills.
Medicare will cover speech therapy services when you meet specific requirements. Speech therapy can improve social communication skills, thinking, and understanding, and even things like swallowing. Doctors may recommend speech-language therapy to patients suffering from a head injury, brain tumor, stroke, or dementia. For Part B to cover speech therapy, your doctor must certify that it’s medically necessary and have a treatment plan ready. Medicare will cover 80% of the cost. You’ll be responsible for the remaining 20% unless you have a Medicare Supplement Plan to cover the rest.
If you or a loved one find yourself in need of speech therapy services, having the right insurance coverage is vital. If there are costs not covered by Medicare, you may find that having a Medicare supplement plan can save you a lot of money and stress,. To find affordable plan options with the coverage you need contact EZ.Insure. To speak directly to a licensed agent call 888-753-7207 or enter your zip code in the bar on the side.