Getting speech therapy at home was a treat for Steve, especially since his therapist was the same one he had at the hospital after his stroke.
Steve has dysarthria which is slow, slurred and distorted speech. He had some swallowing problems in the beginning (but that improved as time went on), but now he has an excessive amount of saliva. The stroke also affected the intonation of his voice. Before the stroke, he had a deep, rich bass voice; and afterward it became raspy, nasally and more monotone. That bothers him the most, because his voice always commanded authority when he spoke, even though he was always very mild-mannered. With the loss of strength in his voice, Steve feels like he lost part of himself, and it has really affected his self-esteem.
Speech therapy at home is an extension of the speech therapy he received in the hospital and at the nursing home, but the professional speech therapy will not be ongoing. It will be up to me to continue speech therapy with Steve. His therapist gave us a number of exercises to work on, but the hard work is really up to Steve to practice these vocal exercises. Once in awhile, he’ll go outside and read from a book out loud and practice projecting his voice, and that has helped quite a bit.
The video demonstrates what he must do each day to strengthen his voice, and hopefully it will become strong again.