Aphasia causes an inability to communicate, and it can occur when an individual has a stroke. Seniors with severe aphasia and physical limitations are sometimes described as “locked in,” meaning they’re aware of what’s happening around them but cannot communicate. The good news is there are communication devices and apps designed to help those who experience mild to severe aphasia after surviving a stroke.
1. Eye-Tracking Devices
Eye-tracking systems give seniors who are unable to speak or communicate nonverbally a “voice,” allowing them to converse with family members and friends. By blinking or gazing at a particular area on a computer screen, the user can control a computer without a mouse or keyboard and generate easy-to-understand voice messages. Eye-tracking systems must be calibrated to ensure the computer’s camera recognizes the reflections from the senior’s eyes. Eye-tracking technology can also be used to communicate and engage with others on social media platforms.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Waterloo families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. Touchscreen Speech-Generating Devices
Speech-generating devices can help seniors with mild to moderate aphasia communicate with others by using a touchscreen to create messages, which are then spoken by the device. The design of speech-generating devices is similar to that of laptops, tablets, and mini tablets. The smaller versions can be used when away from home. Seniors using speech-generating devices can personalize their communication by constructing favorite sayings or phrases to be used later.
3. Visual Dictionaries and Picture Books
These devices may come in the low-tech form of traditional books or as apps that can be used on tablets or smartphones. Seniors with aphasia often find it difficult to sound out words, so charts, illustrations, and pictures can be helpful. A visual dictionary or picture book can be effective because pictures and words are presented together, allowing the user to associate a word with its meaning.
Having a caregiver close by can give your loved one peace of mind. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Waterloo Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
4. Speech-Language Pathology Apps
Speech-language pathology apps allow seniors with aphasia to practice speaking by listening to words and phrases and repeating them. Individuals can access programs online or through apps on tablets or smartphones. The advantage of these resources is that they allow seniors with aphasia to engage in speech therapy when and where it’s convenient. They can click on words and hear them pronounced and watch videos showing individuals enunciating words and making statements. The user practices what he or she sees and hears, and this helps with developing language skills.
5. Game Apps
Games that can be played on a smartphone or tablet are fun resources for helping senior stroke survivors regain their language skills. For example, the objective of a game may be to look at an image and tap one of several labels on the screen to correctly identify it. Users can also practice pronouncing the names of objects and clicking on the objects to hear the correct pronunciation. These apps may also include memory and matching activities that help seniors with aphasia remember names. Game apps allow users to play games multiple times to increase skills.
These devices can stimulate cognition and make communication easier for senior stroke survivors, and so can having a trained caregiver close by. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality in-home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably. Call us today at 519-954-2110 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.