May is Stroke Awareness Month, and we are committed to helping to spread awareness and related resources. Stroke victims can develop
aphasia. Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that can develop with damage to the brain. Aphasia can present itself in a variety of ways. A person may have trouble understanding what is being said, have trouble putting thoughts into words (“word salad”), or a combination of both. When aphasia contributes to trouble understanding spoken words or verbalizing thoughts, it does not necessarily mean the person has a problem with cognition or intellect.
In St. Pete, there is an awesome organization called Voices of Hope for Aphasia whose mission is to reconnect people living with aphasia, in the Tampa Bay area and across the country, with their lives through innovative programs. They work to provide the communication bridges that will help people with aphasia do the things that are most important to them, and take part in their own life.
Below are 10 tips that Voices of Hope for Aphasia recommend for talking with people who have Aphasia.
1- Slow Down. Be Patient.
2- Say one thing at a time.
3- Use pen and paper.
4-Write Key Words
5- Reduce background noise
6- Face each other when talking.
7- Don’t pretend you understand.
8- Draw diagrams or pictures.
9-Ask what helps.
10- Recap. Check you both understand.
In addition to these simple tips, Voices for Hope for Aphasia has an Aphasia simulator on their website where you can experience what it may be like to have Aphasia.
At Sunways, we have had the opportunity to work with families who have been impacted by a stroke and are dealing with Aphasia. If you or your family needs help finding resources or senior care, please reach out to us.