Communication Is For All: Better Hearing and Speech Month
In any part of the world, a smile is a universal form of communication and AssistedCare at Home employee, April Marable, has a smile that would break down any language barrier…which seems fitting for someone who is a speech therapist. May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and the 2018 theme is “Communication for all,” so this is the perfect time for AssistedCare at Home to raise awareness about communication disorders.
Communication is an essential element of life; it underscores everything we do. When a person loses the ability to communicate as a result of dementia, a surgical procedure, or a stroke, life becomes more difficult for that individual and every member of his or her care team, which is why speech language pathology is such an important element of the AssistedCare at Home multi-disciplinary approach.
Typically, the scope of a speech language pathologist is far greater than speech therapy alone and includes cognitive sequencing, receptive understanding of commands, breathing exercises, swallowing exercises, and strategies for the family.
In some cases, home health care workers are the only visitors clients have beyond immediate family so team members like April are welcomed like family. April loves meeting new people and learning about their lives but says it’s funny how clients are always offering her food and drink. Maintaining a professional distance can be challenging when visiting people in their homes and it is common to become attached to regular clients but April succeeds in finding a good work-life balance. Outside work, when she’s not busy with her daughter, she enjoys comedy shows, movies and concerts.
AssistedCare helps her achieve greater job satisfaction by allowing her to be flexible with her schedule. She says, “Everyone at AssistedCare is friendly and the company has an open-door policy.” This results in a low staff turnover and high morale at work. She adds, “AssistedCare wants you to succeed.”
Success is something April wanted from an early age although she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to succeed in. Born and raised in Clinton, NC, April initially aspired to be a lawyer, then decided she wanted to be a forensic scientist – but did not like chemistry! Knowing that her overall preference was to help people, a basic speech therapy class sparked her interest in speech language pathology. She ultimately graduated from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a Masters’ Degree in geriatric speech therapy.
Despite the geriatric focus of her advanced degree, April initially worked with children with intellectual disabilities before transitioning to working in a nursing home and then, two years ago, joining the AssistedCare at Home team. April loves that there are so many different job options within the profession but recommends not trying to be a master of everything. Inspired by her grandmother, a strong, independent woman with whom she was close, her advice to anyone considering speech therapy as a career: “Go in with an open mind and keep your options open.” She recommends, “Don’t limit yourself; learn a little about everything.”
April loves her job and is full of praise for AssistedCare because she says the staff takes time to learn about each employee. The AssistedCare at Home management appreciates all its team members, but would like to recognize speech language pathologists throughout the remaining days of May which is Better Hearing and Speech Month.