Program Helps Parkinson’s Patients Improve
Voice and Speech
Jana Lukens, MA,CCC-SLP, Speech Therapist at Henry Community Health, wants Parkinson’s patients and their families to know about a voice therapy program she offers in New Castle.
Lukens is certified in the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT Loud) program. LSVT Loud is an international, evidence based therapy program specifically developed for patients with Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders. “This is an exciting program where I’ve seen my patients improve their ability to speak louder, be more easily understood and have increased confidence,” she emphasizes.
LSVT LOUD is customized to each patient’s unique communication needs and their health as it relates to their Parkinson’s disease. It is built on tailored exercises that strengthen the voice box (larynx) and speech system to teach patients how to “ Think LOUD!” to increase volume, but not to shout. Patients meet with Lukens for 16 individual 1 hour sessions: 4 consecutive days a week for 4 weeks.
The program which is covered by Medicare and most insurance can help patients:
- Improve their voice allowing them to speak louder so they are more easily understood
- Provide more confidence when talking to family, friends and in other situations
- Make their voice more easily understood by family, friends, on the phone, in restaurants and other social situations
- Improved facial expression
- Improve the ability to swallow
Can It Help Anyone With Parkinson’s?
According to Lukens, people often see the best results when they begin LSVT treatments before noticing significant problems, but it’s never too late to start! “Call me at 765.599.3126 if you have questions about how the program could help you,” she continues.
Safety Measures In Place For Treatment
“Please don’t put off having this important therapy over concerns of COVID-19,” Lukens stresses. ‘It is very safe for you to come to my office in Rehabilitation Services at Forest Ridge Medical Pavilion in New Castle.”
“I will be wearing a clear face shield and you will be given your own personal clear face shield to use during your appointment,” she explains “The face shields allow us to more easily communicate while practicing safety procedures.” Everyone who enters Forest Ridge is expected to wear a face mask, chairs in our waiting room are socially distanced and all rehabilitation services staff wear masks. Your safety is our priority!
Make An Appointment To Begin The Program
A provider (doctor) referral is needed to begin the program. Patients should ask their provider to send a referral to Rehabilitation Services at Henry Community Health. Once the provider referral is received, staff from Rehabilitation Services will call the patient to schedule appointments to begin the program. Questions about the program can be directed to Jana Lukens at 765.599.3126.
Speech Therapy Services
Speech therapy services are offered to patients after a Traumatic Brain Injury, neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, a stroke or stroke-like symptoms.
Symptoms for these patients include cognitive deficits such as short term memory loss, speech and communication problems.
Patients also are seen for swallowing difficulties and voice therapy. Modified Barium Swallows are used to determine the patient’s ability to eat or swallow. Based on the results of the study, diet and therapy recommendations are made.