It is well known that the vast majority of the patients that a speech pathologist will treat are children, many of whom are under 5 years of age. However, it is also true that adults suffer from speech and language problems too, and one group where it is specifically prevalent is older people, which is why an increasing percentage of those aged 65 and over are seeking speech therapy.
This occurs, not because older people are suddenly reporting communication problems, but due to ever-increasing shifts in the age demographics of the population. For example, in the 30 years from 1990 to 2020, the average age of the Australian population increased by almost 6 years, and from 2000 to 2020 the percentage aged 65 and over rose by 4%.
Those numbers are certain to increase further with predictions showing that by the year 2050, Australia will have 1.8 million residents aged over 85, which works out at around 5%. So, it is clear that medical professionals, including speech pathologists, have increasing numbers of patients who are classed as elderly, not just because the elderly are more prone to ailments and illness, but also because there are many more individuals within that age group than ever before.