Have you known anyone who has recovered from a stroke or brain injury but noticed that they are now having trouble speaking or communicating? This is brought about by a type of disorder that you may not have heard before.
Aphasia is a disease that is caused by damage to the parts of the brain that governs language and comprehension.
People suffering from Aphasia may be faced with the following difficulties:
finding the right words to say
reading and comprehending
And although Aphasia is common to 25 percent to 40 percent of people who are stroke survivors (according to the National Aphasia Association), this disease may also originate from:
1) Expressive Aphasia – This is associated with speaking and writing wherein the person knows what he/she wants to say or write but has trouble communicating it to others
2) Anomic Aphasia – This also is associated with speaking and writing wherein the person is having difficulties choosing the right words to say or write.
3) Receptive Aphasia – This is associated with hearing and comprehension wherein the person cannot understand the meaning of what he/she heard. It can even be as severe as not even understanding his or her own language.
4) Global Aphasia – Common in stroke survivors, this is one of the worst types of Aphasia since it is not only associated with speaking and writing but hearing and comprehension as well.
5) Primary Progressive Aphasia – This is a rare type of aphasia wherein the person gradually loses his/her ability to speak, write, read, and comprehend. In its advanced stages, people who have this disorder are only able to communicate through gestures. Although this kind of disorder is irreversible, those who suffer this type of aphasia through stroke may improve through speech therapy and prescribed medications.
Aphasia targets all age groups but is more common in middle-aged folks or older. If you are a caregiver or relative of a senior who has Aphasia then it would be beneficial to learn more about this disease in order to take better steps in coping with it.
Here are some tips that may help in communicating with people suffering from Aphasia:
1) Get the person’s attention before you start communicating with them.
2) Keep background noise to a minimum (such as radio, tv, and other people).
3) Make sure to simplify your sentences and always try to let them finish their own sentences.
4) Praise their efforts to speak and do not imply any of their errors in speech.
5) Writing, gestures, drawings, and facial expressions will surely help get the message across when you add them to speech.
6) Avoid talking down to the person with aphasia.
7) Normal level speaking voice is suggested unless indicated by the person being taken care of.
8) Make them feel encouraged to be independent and involve them in family decision-making.
Treatment and medication vary depending on the type of Aphasia since it can be possibly brought about by certain medical conditions or disabilities so it is also strongly suggested to consult with a doctor or a healthcare professional for the recommended prescription.
Supplementing the prescribed treatment and medication with the right kind of care may also help lessen the challenges brought about by Aphasia. So if you need quality assistance right now for your senior loved one do not hesitate to get help from a legitimate home care agency and have that peace of mind.
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Belina C. Nernberg
Belina Calderon-Nernberg is the CEO and founder of 1Heart Caregiver Services. Recently offering 1Heart franchise business opportunities to the public, Belina provided the vision, leadership, and direction that the company needed to achieve its goal of making a positive difference in the homecare industry. As her greatest accomplishment, the company is now equipped with the expertise to expand its business operations to different States in the U.S. Belina brings with her a corporate experience of 25 years, with 15 solid years of experience as CEO of an employment agency and a senior care service company in Southern California. Belina has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of St. La Salle, Philippines. She has been the recipient of several awards given to emerging leaders in business, community service, arts, and entertainment. She has also been honored as an Ambassador of Goodwill by the HiFi (Historic Filipinotown) Neighborhood Council. This title is bestowed to carefully selected Filipino-Americans who are persons of integrity who have the ability “to promote, reach out, influence and mobilize public interest and support of the ideals, values, principles, and programs of the Historic Filipinotown.