Working as part of a multidisciplinary team, community speech-language therapists provide assessment and intervention for patients with communication and or swallowing difficulties. Interventions are patient centred and are aimed at working towards patient and carer / whanau needs and goals.
- providing swallowing and communication assessment, and advice
- rehabilitation programmes aimed at achieving their desired level of independence, social participation and wellbeing within their environment
- supporting patients in finding ways to compensate for and adapt to their changing communication and swallowing status associated with their medical condition e.g. progressive neurological disorders
Community speech-language therapists will visit people in their homes, private hospital / rest home or in a community clinic.
Communication and swallowing problems can be caused by lots of health issues including:
- brain injury
- degenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease, dementia, and motor-neurone disease
- respiratory conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and recurrent pneumonia
- cancer of the head, neck, throat, and brain
- aphasia (also referred to as dysphasia)