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As a retired speech/language pathologist I have intimate knowledge of the benefits and need to increase eligibility for services.In my professional capacity, I would often evaluate a dementia or Alzeheimer patient who was experiencing severe difficulty eating and swallowing, which is common as these diseases progress.Many would cough or choke during a meal, thus their quality of life was severely impacted.With physician authorization, I would evaluate and prescribe diet and, liquid consistency changes,  for the patient's safety.In nearly every case,  minimal swallow therapy and staff  and family training improved the patient's ability to swallow, and safety techniques reduced coughing and choking,resulting in an improved quality of life.

For stroke patients ,the ability to communicate is an important aspect of independence, yet the ability to walk is paramount in the eyes of the insurance community, and the time required to regain language is longer than the time to reambulate.This results in  post stroke patients being able to walk, yet unable to communicate their basic need, which is frustrating for the patient , as well as caregivers.Think how you would feel, if you were unable to tell someone you were in pain, sick, or needed to go to the toilet.

Therapy services must be extended in all therapy disciplines, and additional time given to patients to regain their ability to speak.

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