Aphasia is a condition that may result after a stroke due to parts of the brain being damaged. If your senior loved one experiences aphasia, he or she may be unable to talk or have a difficult time comprehending what’s being said. Those who experience aphasia are often able to form complete sentences in their heads but are only able to mutter or speak in nonsensical language. Help your loved one communicate better following a stroke with these tips.
Keep It Simple
Asking “yes or no” questions can help your loved one communicate his or her needs by being able to nod or shake his or her head to indicate preferences. When using this form of communication, remember to use short sentences so your loved one has an opportunity to “answer” one question at a time.
An experienced professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior recovering from a stroke. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Colorado Springs elderly home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Write It Out
Strokes manifest differently in different people, and the effects after a stroke depend on the parts of the brain affected by the blood clot. Your loved one may not be able to speak but still have the use of his or her hands and be able to write. If your loved one is able to write, make sure he or she always has a notepad and a pen or pencil close by to be able to communicate with others.
Use Visual Aids
Visual aids can be helpful when talking with a stroke survivor. For example, your loved one may not be able to formulate the word “oatmeal” when trying to communicate what he or she wants for breakfast, but holding up a paper with several breakfast options on it allows him or her to gesture to the bowl of oatmeal. Posters with cut-out magazine pictures, flash cards, or books can be helpful.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Colorado Springs live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust the professional live-in caregivers from Home Care Assistance to enhance his or her quality of life.
Try Using Technology
Breakthroughs in technology are helping those with aphasia communicate better than ever before. Aphasia assistive technology can come in a variety of different forms, but each has the same purpose: to give those with aphasia a “voice” once again. There are a variety of devices and laptops that say the words typed on the screen or pointed at with a laser pointer. Smartphone applications such as HandySpeech are also available. With this app, your loved one types or writes the words on the cell phone, and the phone then says the words aloud. Some aphasia assistive technology devices are covered by insurance providers.
Turn to Therapy
Even though your loved one is unable to speak now, it doesn’t mean this will always be the case. Advancements in speech therapy and physical therapy can help stroke survivors gain their lost speech skills. Therapy takes time and patience, and in most cases, speech doesn’t return overnight. Remember to be patient with your loved one and give him or her plenty of time to communicate.
Just because your loved one can’t talk doesn’t mean he or she can’t hear or understand. Don’t talk with others as if your loved one isn’t in the room, never talk down to him or her, and be careful of the things you say in his or her presence.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (719) 822-1229 today.