1. 094. Memory Health and Speech Therapy with Francine Waskavitz 25:11

If you have a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, you might find yourself visiting a speech-language pathologist. Depending on your injury, this professional helps with different areas of cognition and executive functioning, like decision-making and problem-solving skills. Together you’ll work to restore communication – and become as independent as possible in the meantime.

Francine Waskavitz is a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and integrative health and nutrition coach (IHNC) with a passion for helping seniors maximize their cognitive health. By raising awareness on the importance of a holistic lifestyle, she encourages seniors to take early action to support their mind and overall health. In her own life, she learned about the power of food to heal and nourish – even alleviating and preventing Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) that could lead to dementia.

During her one-on-one Coaching with patients, she also uses the Memory Wellness Wheel™. This breaks memory Resilience into 8 elements. In her therapy, she goes through it one by one and works on helping you improve where necessary. This practice, along with lifestyle changes, have helped patients see incredible improvement.

Together with Senior Living Expert Lori Williams, she discusses:

– What speech therapy is

– Research on the relationship between aging, memory, health, and speech

– The importance of lifestyle in preventing / overcoming cognitive decline

– Signs of Mild Cognitive Impairment

– Steps to take if you notice your memory / cognitive health declining

And more.

Whether you’re working to improve your memory or prevent dementia / Mild Cognitive Impairment, lifestyle is key. The right diet can help, along with staying mentally active and getting proper sleep.

Topics discussed:

– Speech therapy

– The role of a speech-language pathologist

– Nutrition and lifestyle

– Stroke / traumatic brain injury recovery

– Mild Cognitive Impairment and dementia

– Inflammation and disease

– Improving memory

Takeaways from this episode:

– Speech therapy is covered under Medicare as long as it’s medically necessary. A change in medical status would also qualify somebody to have speech therapy services.

– As Dr. Mark Hyman said: “Your genes load the gun, but your lifestyle pulls the trigger.” While your genes play a role in your health outcomes, your habits and lifestyle impact it the most.

– It’s critical to mention cognitive changes to your doctor. Forgetfulness is not a natural part of aging, so take note when it happens and how often.

– Masking and denial are early signs of cognitive change. However, once you speak with a professional about it, it may become easier to manage.

– Along with seeing your doctor, start with managing nutrition, sleep, and stress to help battle mental fog. Typically, within a few weeks, it will make all the difference.

– Inflammation is the root of disease. Look at your numbers, such as blood pressure, and try to incorporate omega-3s (salmon, chia, walnuts, etc.) in your diet.

Resources discussed:

Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with Francine Waskavitz:


Take your Memory Wellness Wheel™ assessment


075. How brain fitness slows down dementia and Alzheimer’s disease


To suggest a topic, be a guest or to support the podcast, please email Lori@Loriwilliams-seniorservices.com

For more senior resources and to sign up to the newsletter, please visit:





Lori Williams Senior Living Expert & Host of the Podcast, Aging in Style

Owner/Founder of Lori Williams - Senior Services. I’ve worked in senior living for over 16 years. My passion for learning all I could about aging, dementia and resources for older adults was inspired by my grandmother who was diagnosed with dementia in 1994. I am also the creator and host of the podcast, Aging in Style. The purpose of the podcast is to educate on all things senior related and to share stories of inspirational seniors.

I have a degree in Marketing from LSU, and I am a Certified Senior Advisor and a Certified Dementia Practitioner.