If you have an elderly loved one who has suffered from a stroke that has impaired their communication skills, it is important to find alternative ways for them to effectively express their needs and desires. While the time following a stroke is often challenging, stressful and frustrating for the patient, there are communication aids made specifically to help stroke survivors communicate on their own terms, helping them to live life as independently as possible. Learn more about professional Centennial stroke care and continue reading to learn about some of the top communication aids to help stroke survivors regain communication skills.
- Sign Language. With the help of a speech-language pathologist, your loved one can learn some fundamental American Sign Language to help them effectively communicate if they cannot use their voice. While this type of communication aid is effective for some stroke survivors, if your loved one has suffered a stroke that has damaged left-brain function, the speech-language pathologist might not recommend this type of aid.
- Communication Boards. Low on technology, but high on love and commitment, Communication Boards are often made by family members and caregivers for senior stroke survivors. These boards feature letters, numbers, symbols and images that have direct and personal meaning to the stroke survivor. For example, if your loved one likes coffee, make sure to place an image of a coffee cup, so they can let you know when they would like a cup.
- Technology Assistance. Technology can work wonders to help you and your loved one communicate. There are a handful of apps available for desktops, tablets and smartphones that allow seniors without a voice to write what they want to say, and the software will speak back. There are also reading and symbol-based programs which work similarly to communication boards, but offers your family and your loved one a wider range of options and ease.
As a part of your loved one’s support system, it is also important to be an attentive, active and patient listener and communicator yourself. The more you work to open lines of communication, the better relationship you will have with your loved one and the better care you will be able to provide.
If you need assistance with in-home stroke care or respite from your caregiving responsibilities, contact Home Care Assistance, the leading provider of home care in Centennial at 303-957-3100. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our Care Manager will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.