Better Hearing & Speech Month Feature: Shellie Webb, CCC-SLP
Shellie Webb is a speech language pathologist at The Arbor and The Rose Garden in Ridgeland, Mississippi. She attended Salem Attendance Center in Tylertown, Mississippi as a high school student, and she went on to obtain her undergraduate and masters degrees from The University of Mississippi. Shellie is also VitalStim certified, and she would like to also pursue certification in LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) in the future.
The Arbor is a skilled nursing facility, and The Rose Garden is a newly-built, state-of-the-art 52 bed dementia care center. Because of these populations, most of the work Shellie does involves geriatrics. She spends much of her time dealing with her favorite disorder to treat - dysphagia. Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that can affect adults, causing them malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia, and chronic lung disease. It very commonly causes embarrassment and fear of eating because of choking, but it can be more serious and cause major health concerns. Signs of dysphagia can be drooling, pain, leaking, or the feeling of food “sticking” in the mouth or throat.
Shellie’s job is to spot these signs and keep an eye out for dysphagia patients. Once a dysphagia patient is identified, Shellie works with them to pinpoint the issues with swallowing. She not only educates the patient, but the nursing staff at the facility as well in order to ensure the patient eats, drinks, and swallows safely.
For so many of us, eating is a time of social engagement. It is a time to relax and enjoy the food before us. For dysphagia patients, the loss of social interaction and the stress of worrying about choking can make life miserable. For the residents of The Arbor and The Rose Garden, Shellie is the answer to safely enjoying a meal.
Thank you so much for all you do, Shellie! Your team appreciates you so much, and your residents all the more.