Aging and Ethnicity: Communication Services for Older African-Americans Communication, the lubricant of social interaction, is the vehicle for forming and maintaining relationships, making needs known, and knowing the needs of others; sharing ideas and conveying knowledge; as well as the means for transmitting culture and expressing a myriad of human emotions. These universal uses of communication continue across ... Article
Article  |   July 01, 1997
Aging and Ethnicity: Communication Services for Older African-Americans
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joyce L. Harris
    School of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, The University of Memphis
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   July 01, 1997
Aging and Ethnicity: Communication Services for Older African-Americans
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, July 1997, Vol. 3, 3-5. doi:10.1044/cds3.2.3
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, July 1997, Vol. 3, 3-5. doi:10.1044/cds3.2.3
Communication, the lubricant of social interaction, is the vehicle for forming and maintaining relationships, making needs known, and knowing the needs of others; sharing ideas and conveying knowledge; as well as the means for transmitting culture and expressing a myriad of human emotions. These universal uses of communication continue across the human life span. Unfortunately, old age increases the likelihood that these communicative functions may be cut off, or effectively curtailed, by the onset of brain injury or disease. The risk of communication-impairing conditions increases in old age, as aging neurologic and vascular systems are more vulnerable to pathologies that underlie a variety of neurogenic communicative disorders. Although precise prevalence data on age-related neurogenic disorders of communication do not exist, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association estimates that 20% of persons over 65 years old are living with handicapping speech, language, or hearing impairments. Unfortunately, however, only 10% of those persons receive indicated communication rehabilitative services (Fein, 1983). Thus, the needs of a large segment of communicatively impaired older adults go unmet.
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