Post-stroke aphasia negatively affects a stroke victim’s ability to talk, read or understand the words that are spoken to him or her. The severity and symptoms of aphasia vary wildly from person to person, but with patience and the right combination of treatments, post-stroke aphasia can dramatically improve. Home Care Assistance, a premier provider of stroke care in Denton County, presents a few tools and therapies that family caregivers should consider for their loved one after a stroke.
Melodic Intonation Therapy
Sometimes seniors with aphasia have trouble with specific words and phrases. When this is the case, singing along to familiar songs such as “Happy Birthday” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” can simulate the right side of the brain, helping your loved one to remember common words and phrases. Tapping out the rhythm of the song with the hand or foot can further engage your loved one and enhance cognitive functioning.
Seniors with post-stroke aphasia often have trouble carrying on a conversation because of the inability to understand some of the words spoken to them, or because they forget the proper reply. Picture cards are a great way to help provide some added cues to stimulate understand or the correct response. Family members and caregivers can use these cards as they speak. It can also be helpful to have a notepad and pen readily available so that your loved one can draw out what it is they need when there seems to be some confusion.
Computer Games & Apps
There are several free apps available for Apple and Android devices that were designed specifically to help individuals improve communication skills. Apps like Verbally and MyTalkTools give seniors a screen that has common words on it. When the words are touched, the program reads the word aloud to help promote speech and critical thinking. Both apps are available in a lite or “trail” version that is free of cost.
The online world is also full of free aphasia games for seniors and older adults. Depending on your loved one’s current abilities and goals, you can select the games that are most appropriate. Your loved one’s doctor is likely a good source for recommendations as well.
Additional Care Tips
Above all, make sure to leave plenty of time for conversations. Making sure that your loved one is not rushed can help enhance their comfort, facilitating conversation. Remember, this is a long-term journey that will only get better with practice and time.
For more information about helping a senior loved one after a stroke, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Denton County. We proudly provide home care Denton County families trust, offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee with all of our care services and no long-term contracts. To request your complimentary, no-obligation consultation, call 972-468-6010 and speak with an experienced and friendly Care Manager.