World Parkinson’s Program – www.pdprogram.orgISSN: 1929-4980 Volume 10, Number 5, May 2018
Pardon Me, Can You Say It Again!
As Parkinson’s disease progresses, more than two third of Parkinson’s patients develop problems with speech. Parkinson’s patients may struggle during conversations. They may be asked to repeat their sentences. These changes bring about depressive symptoms, low morale along with reduced motivation to communicate.
These communication difficulties affect the individual’s quality of life including social skills, lifestyle and emotional well-being. Their speech problems interfere with activities of daily living and patients are reluctant to participate in social engagements such as family gatherings or communicate and hold a conversation. Patients may have soft speech, monotonous and some patients start to experience hesitation when they begin to say a sentence.
In addition to speech therapy, individuals with Parkinson’s disease may benefit from these general strategies:
· Breathe fully before you speak so you do not run out of air before you finish the sentence
· Maintain eye contact
· Establish a topic before beginning a conversation
· Rate of speech: Keep it slow and even
· Focus on lips and jaws: Force your lips and jaw to work hard as you pronounce words
· Concentrate on finishing the sound of each word before starting the next
· Help from friends and family: Have your family and friends tell you when your voice drops. Talk about the problem with family and friends.
· Reduce background noise: Turn down the TV or radio if you have something to say
· Try your best to talk for yourself, even if it takes longer.
· Hold your head up straight and speak directly into the mouthpiece of phone. Let your voice can warm up by practicing a few words aloud before dialing or answering
· Clear your mouth of saliva regularly whilst talking
· Deep breathing and relaxation exercises and exercises for jaw and lips may be helpful
· Keeping the head in an upright position and giving more group speeches is also helpful
· Most of all, RELAX