Sunday, August 2, 2009

Communication Tips for Caregivers of People with Aphasia

Many people ask me , "What can I do at home to help?". I am listing a few admittedly basic, but sometimes overlooked suggestions on how to communicate with your loved one.

Sometimes it is hard to remember that Aphasia does not affect a person's intellect. People suffering from Expressive Aphasia know what is going on around them. They realize that people are whispering in front of them or speaking loudly or using baby talk. They understand perfectly, they just cannot make the words come out of their mouths.

Here are a few tips:

1. Refer to the paragraph above and realize that Expressive Aphasia is a communication disorder and not a cognitive impairment. This should always dictate how you respond to your loved one.
2. Be a loving partner. You are not a therapist, so don't be their therapist. Be an encouragement. Be a supporter. Partner with them in the process.
3. At least once a day sit down and have a pleasant conversation with your loved one. Spend at least 15 minutes talking about whatever comes up. This is GREAT practice for a person with Aphasia. The more time you can converse back and forth - the better.

I have a lot more suggestions I will save for another day.

If you have any ideas or tips, please feel free to comment. The purpose of this blog is to foster interaction among readers and hopefully provide an amount of support for people with Aphasia and their caregivers.

If you need more Aphasia Therapy for Expressive Aphasia, go to my website We produce aphasia therapy on DVDs that can be used independently at home or in conjunction with a speech therapist.

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