Sam has been providing communication and swallow assessment and management at Lulworth House and St Luke’s Private Hospital since 2010. She draws on a breadth of clinical knowledge within the area of acquired neurological disorders, since graduating in 2005, working in both London and Sydney. Predominantly, Sam treats people affected by stroke and Parkinson’s disease, as well as traumatic brain injury and dementia.
It is Sam’s responsibility to assess and manage individuals’ swallow changes at St Luke’s Care, providing full food and fluid texture recommendations and education to staff and significant others. Regular in-service presentations to provide ongoing swallow training, education, and updates to care and nursing staff are also carried out.
Adults can experience changes to the efficiency of their swallow with increasing age or because of damage to or deterioration of the brain or structures of the head and neck. Timely speech pathology assessment and intervention is thus essential to minimise the risk of aspiration (food /fluid entering the lungs) and help to maintain an individual’s chest and oral health.
Acquired language changes (e.g. aphasia, apraxia) are also common following damage to the brain, such as after a stroke or with the progression of dementia. Sam will often liaise with nursing staff, families and carers to discuss communication difficulties/breakdown, provide strategies to assist plus assessment and ongoing language therapy where indicated.
Sam is trained in Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD) – an effective evidence-based speech treatment for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other neurological conditions, aimed specifically at targeting vocal loudness. She is passionate and committed to enabling clients to achieve the best possible outcomes via collaboration with the wider health care team and an evidence driven ‘client-centered’ approach.
Sam has worked in sub-acute stroke and brain injury rehabilitation hospital settings, community public health and with private rehab teams. She currently provides services to two other private rehabilitation hospitals and a mobile private therapy service to individuals in the community across metropolitan Sydney.