Speaking to Someone with Aphasia: 5 Helpful Tips
Aphasia can make it difficult to communicate with someone in your care. Understand Aphasia better and how to engage those living with this disorder.
5 Helpful Tips to Use When Speaking to Seniors with Aphasia
Nearly 180,000 Americans acquire every year. It affects 1 in 250 people in the U.S.; however, many people have never even heard of it. Read on to find out more and how you can help loved ones who may have it.
What is Aphasia?
A neurological disorder that affects an individual’s ability to communicate. Some patients may have a severe inability to communicate, including difficulty speaking, understanding spoken language, and an inability to read or write. (source) www.aphasia.org/aphasia-definitions
What it is NOT?
Does not affect an individual’s intelligence or development. It is a language deficit.
More mild cases may mean an individual is unable to retrieve names of people and objects or has a hard time stringing simple sentences together.
What Causes it?
Caused by injury to the brain such as a stroke. Brain injuries such as tumors, trauma and infections can also cause the affliction. Aphasia is most common in older adults, but can occur at any age.
What’s the Difference Between Aphasia and Alzheimer’s?
Often confused with Alzheimer’s, both are a form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is characterized by forgetfulness. Individuals with Alzheimer’s cannot remember certain people or events, but they don’t typically have trouble finding the right words to say or difficulty understanding conversation. (source)
Individuals with the disease often have trouble understanding what is being said to them or how to reply. They may also have difficulty reading and writing. alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp#basics
5 Helpful Tips
There are many types of Aphasia and they can range from mild to more severe. Some individuals can improve slowly over time. Understanding and learning communication methods can help those with loved ones.
Home Care Tip:
Having a caregiver in the home during the day can allow for the time and patience needed to allow someone with Aphasia to express themselves. Then, when the family caregiver arrives in the evening, a caregiver can convey the day’s discussions so your loved one can avoid the frustration of having to repeat themselves.