Following strokes, many seniors develop a unique complication known as aphasia. This particular disorder makes it very difficult to speak and understand words, and it can last for years. While communicating with a stroke survivor can be challenging, there are a few steps you can take to make the process much easier.
Understand Communication Difficulties Don’t Indicate Decreased Intelligence
One of the most important things caregivers and family members need to remember is that communication problems aren’t a reflection of intelligence. While your senior loved one might have a difficult time understanding language and putting his or her own thoughts into words, he or she could still be thinking clearly. Treating stroke survivors as if they’re slow or mentally disabled could have a major impact on their mental and emotional health and potentially slow their recovery.
Eliminate All Distractions When Speaking
Even seemingly minor distractions could make it challenging for your loved one to follow what you’re saying. Before you start speaking, try to eliminate any distractions that might drown out your words. In addition to turning off the television and radio, you should also close all the doors and windows. If the room is full of family members and your loved one seems to be having difficulty understanding you, ask some of those people to leave for a few minutes.
Work Closely with a Speech Pathologist
Your loved one’s communication skills might naturally get better over time, but a speech pathologist can make that process go much faster. Following a stroke, your parent will most likely need to meet with a speech pathologist at least once or twice a week. The speech pathologist will lead your loved one through a wide variety of exercises that strengthen the muscles throughout the face and boost cognition. The pathologist might also teach you a few exercises to practice with your loved one at home.
An experienced professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for seniors who are recovering from strokes. Families looking for top-rated senior care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Track When Your Loved One Seems to Be Most Communicative
Everyday tasks can be very difficult for stroke survivors, and your loved one will probably have energy spikes and dips throughout the day. You should always try to carry out the communication exercises when your loved one seems to be the most active and engaged. Some stroke survivors have more energy when they first wake up, while others become active after they’ve had something to eat. By tracking those changes, your communication exercises may be much more effective.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Waterloo 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.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are numerous mobile apps available for stroke survivors and their families, and some of these are specifically designed for communication purposes. If your loved one is able to use a hand or a few fingers, he or she might be able to use one of these apps to convey important information, such as when he or she is hungry or in pain. These apps allow seniors to point at pictures or tap the screen instead of trying to use spoken words.
Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Waterloo homecare services provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at 519-954-2110.