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Speech-Language Pathologists are experts in helping people regain and maintain cognitive function, communication skills and swallowing abilities. SLPs work with various diagnosis but since May is both Better Hearing & Speech Month and Stroke Awareness Month, we want to recognize the meaningful work SLPs do with our patients who have sustained strokes.

SLPs are specially trained in swallow function, communication and cognitive processes-all of which can be directly impacted by strokes. Following a stroke, SLPs are consulted to evaluate patients using a person-centered approach in order to identify the patient and family goals for care.

Treatment areas can include:

  • Receptive Languagethe ability to understand language. This includes understanding simple information up to complex conversational information.
  • Expressive Languagethe ability to express basic wants/needs. This can range from gestures, stating yes/no responses to complex conversations and use of technology for communication.
  • Dysphagiaswallow function including oral readiness, oral, pharyngeal and esophageal phases.
  • Cognitive Processessequencing, problem solving, memory, safety.

Having a SLP address these areas following a stroke is vital to the quality of life to our patients and can impact their overall well-being. For additional information contact your therapy department to discuss the many ways SLPs can benefit your building.

New, FREE Behavioral Health Resources for Nursing Facilities

The Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health in Nursing Facilities (COE-NF) has been established in efforts to improve the quality of life and care of residents experiencing various behavioral health conditions. The organization was launched as a three-year grant project by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in collaboration with CMS and started in September 2022, so providers are encouraged to take advantage of the resources while it’s in place. The conditions that the COE-NF is specifically focusing on are:

  • Serious Mental Illness (SMI) such as Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Schizophrenia
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD) including misuse of alcohol and a variety of legal or illegal drugs or
  • Co-Occurring Disorders (COD), which refers to a condition with the presence of at least one mental
    disorder and at least one SUD. Common CODs include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depressive
    disorders, Bipolar Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) such as mood disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,
    and PTSD

Resources available include technical assistance, evidence-based trainings, educational materials, tip sheets, and newsletters with an intended audience of administrators, directors of nursing, certified nursing assistants, licensed nursing staff, social workers, residents, and residents’ families and caregivers. The COE-NF has 10 dedicated behavioral specialists assigned by region to assist and support SNF operators.

Inquiries to request assistance can be submitted via the COE-NF website

May 6th through May 12th is National Nurses Week every year, ending on Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Back in 1982, May 6th was proclaimed a day for nurses’ recognition and in the 1990s, the American Nurses Association (ANA) expanded the celebration to a week. Then, in 2020, the ANA dedicated the entire month to recognize nurses.

So, if you haven’t had an opportunity to acknowledge nursing professionals in your life, it’s not too late! This is an opportunity to raise awareness and show appreciation for the essential role nurses have across so many health care settings. The ANA has divided National Nurses Month info four weekly focus areas:

  • Self-care
  • Recognition
  • Professional Development
  • Community Engagement

Following is a link to a free National Nurses Month Toolkit offered by ANA to help celebrate nurses all month long. It includes: templates, graphics, banners, posters, online assets, tips to participate in weekly themes, ways to recognize nurses, and suggestions to get others involved.

Click here for National Nurses Month Toolkit

-Encore Rehabilitation’s monthly publication, designed to give you updates on trends we are seeing in the Post-Acute Care industry.-

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