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4 Tips for Caring for a Senior with Aphasia

Communication is crucial when caring for the elderly. However, having aphasia can make this considerably more difficult because it directly affects speech, writing, and comprehension. Aphasia can present many challenges for the elderly, but these tips can help you communicate better and provide adequate Westfield in-home care for your senior loved one.

1. Use Multiple Forms of Communication

Aphasia can make it difficult for your loved one to find the right words to use. Therefore, you should try to incorporate nonverbal forms of communication. Drawings, hand gestures, and pointing are alternative ways to communicate with a senior who has aphasia. Incorporating technology can also be helpful. Encourage your loved one to type his or her words on a computer screen or use the mouse to point to words and images instead of attempting to talk. This can make it easier for your loved one to communicate with you.

2. Keep Communication Clear

Always use simple words and sentence structures when communicating with your loved one. Be sure to minimize distractions like the radio, television, or outside conversations. Remember your loved one is still intelligent, but his or her communication skills have changed. It is a good idea to ask your loved one yes or no questions to limit the amount of choices he or she has. If you speak to your loved one in a clear and concise manner, he or she will have a better chance of communicating effectively.

3. Be Patient

Your loved one will need time to answer questions and form clear sentences. Remain patient and never interrupt your loved one when he or she is speaking. Allowing your loved one extra time to communicate can help ease his or her frustration instead of making it worse. The more patient you are, the better he or she is likely to feel. It is also a good idea to take occasional breaks during the conversation.

4. Encourage Socialization

When your loved one continues to socialize, his or her communication skills can increase. Encourage your loved one to keep up with his or her social networks to prevent isolation. You should have him or her start with one-on-one encounters before moving on to larger group activities.

If your loved one has aphasia and you need additional support meeting his or her care needs, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care Westfield families trust, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method focuses on activities that promote skills related to memory, language, and communication. To learn more and to request a no-obligation consultation, call one of our Care Managers at 908.450.9400 today.