Skip to Content

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Lee Health is starting to reschedule appointments, surgeries, and procedures that were delayed during the pandemic. You can be confident that we will provide the most exceptional care in the safest environment. Learn More

Speech and Parkinson's Disease - Speech Therapy

Memory, volume control, and attention—these are just some of the things patients living with Parkinson’s Disease may find difficult. “Sometimes they get talked over because of those things, and it just gets really frustrating,” said Courtney Welch, a speech therapist with Lee Health. Studies show that nearly 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease develop some kind of voice or speech concern—and without help, it can cause frustration, depression, even isolation. “Once Parkinson’s comes into their lives they limit their speaking, they cut back and say I can’t do it anymore, so I’m going to take a step back, and of course if you were really social that’s a big change in your life,” said Welch. Welch works with patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease to help them feel more comfortable in social settings. “The cognitive changes in the brain because of Parkinson’s’ disease can happen, whether that’s memory problems, attention, or word-finding in general. When you know what to expect, you can manage them so much better,” she said. Speech and voice changes can happen any time during the diagnosis—making it important to start therapy early. “If I’m giving the cue to be louder in therapy, I can encourage the spouse or the caregiver to give those same cues at home to help with volume and speech,” Welch said. Awareness and practice can keep patients social and heard. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit