There is no question that caregiving for someone with Aphasia can be extremely difficult. Aphasia is a disorder in which a person who previously had no difficulties speaking or understanding the written word has a brain injury or disease that causes them to lose this ability. June is Aphasia Awareness Month and our focus is to not only help you better understand the disorder but to realize that there is the ability to live a full life, even if afflicted this disorder.
Caregiving for Someone with Aphasia – Know the Facts
- Aphasia affects approximately 2 million people in the United States
- Each year there are 180,000 new cases diagnosed each year
- There are various types of Aphasia and levels of severity of Aphasia that can occur
- Recovery can be difficult and statistics indicate that if the symptoms last longer than three months it is less likely that a full recovery will be made
- Recovery can occur slowly; sometimes improving through life gradually, so there is always the hope of getting “better” even if a full recovery isn’t expected
- The elderly are the most common age group to be affected by Aphasia
- Between 25-40% of those affected by Aphasia are affected because of a stroke
- Generally, damage to the right side of the brain is a prominent component of this disorder
- A person’s intelligence is not affected by Aphasia; however, due to their inability to communicate easily with others it is often perceived that their intelligence has been jeopardized
- Caregiving for someone with Aphasia can be very frustrating due to communication difficulties
There are ways you can reduce the frustration of communicating with a loved one who is suffering from Aphasia. The video below, entitled “Patience, Listening and Communicating with Aphasia Patients” offers some excellent insight about many aspects of this disorder; especially sharing how those affected by Aphasia feel about the frustration of communicating.
Here are some other tips that may help:
- Independence & Enjoyment – Encourage your loved one to be independent and continue enjoying the things in life they’ve always enjoyed as much as possible, despite the Aphasia.
- Let Them Speak – It can be frustrating for both the person listening and the person with Aphasia as they converse; however, it’s important to refrain from finishing sentences or speaking for them.
- Everyone is Different – Remember that every person is different, their affliction may be different than someone else who has Aphasia, and use what works for you and your loved one best when it comes to communicating. This is not a “one size fits all” type of disorder and sometimes creating your own techniques to communicate is the best way to reduce frustration.
These other tips from the American Stroke Association may also prove to be helpful.
Remember that Accredited can also offer help in caregiving for someone with Aphasia with services such in-home health services for speech therapy along with caregiving services in the California area.
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Photo by mRio