If you are responsible for the elderly care of an aging parent or loved one, you have undoubtedly read tons of articles about medical conditions, such as strokes. Most people focus on just the stroke itself and what its symptoms are, so that if they see them in their loved one, they can take quick action.
What some people may not know, though, is that most of the time, people survive a stroke if they have one and action is taken quickly enough to save the brain. But they often survive with lingering or permanent effects from the stroke.
One of these effects if aphasia. Aphasia is defined as a communication disorder, meaning that it affects one’s ability to use language. It is caused by damage to the language centers in the brain, usually done by a stroke or other traumatic brain injury.
Aphasia can cause problems with both speaking and listening, as well as with reading and writing. It affects one’s ability to produce language, as well as their ability to understand language that is being spoken or presented to them. It is important to note, though, that aphasia does not in any way affect one’s intelligence. It does not make them less smart than they were before, or less able to think, it simply makes them less able to communicate with others.
The way that aphasia manifests itself is related to the area of the brain that was damaged. For example, those with damage to the back of the brain may be able to physically speak without problems, but their speech may contain words that don’t make sense in the context, or are made up. These people tend to have a harder time understanding speech that is spoken to them. Those with damage to the front of the brain, on the other hand, have the opposite problem. They can understand what others are saying to them without much difficulty, but when they try to speak themselves, their words are choppy and hard to get out.
Fortunately, there are treatments available for aphasia. Most of these consist of working with a speech-language pathologist, who can help your loved one to regain their ability to speak and understand language. They can also help them to develop new ways to communicate if necessary, so that they can continue to live a normal life, even if they are never able to regain the abilities they lost.
The most important thing to remember if your loved one suffers from aphasia, though, is to be patient. They are surely more frustrated with themselves than you could ever be with them and their communication problems, so try to be understanding, and to help them whenever you can. Give them the time to get their words out, and don’t get annoyed if they don’t understand what you are saying the first time you say it.
Aphasia can be a very trying condition, but you and the loved one your provide elderly care for should accept that there could be a lot worse outcome when it comes to strokes, and that you can get through this together.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elderly care in Mt. Laurel, NJ, please contact the caring staff at TLC Home Care Services today. Call (856) 234-8700 for more information.
Kelly C. McCabe is a founding partner and co-owner of TLC HomeCare Services.She and her business partner,Patti Maltese founded TLC HomeCare Services in March of 2009.In addition to management, marketing and sales, staffing and recruiting, Kelly holds her New Jersey producer’s license in Health and Life insurance and is also a New Jersey Certified Home Health Aide.Kelly is the proud mother of two daughters and is a resident of Moorestown, NJ.