My ten top tips for stroke recovery

10

Dealing with aphasia after a stroke

People with aphasia can have difficulty getting their message across. In some cases they may even lose their power of speech. They can have problems understanding everything that is being said to them and difficulty reading text

Aphasia can affect all aspects of life. Many people stop working because they have difficulty communicating. Although things may get better over time, some people never fully recover their previous fluency with langauage.

If you have aphasia there are things you can do to make communication easier for yourself. The use of cards with pre-printed information will help. Your local library will have talking books if reading is a problem.

It will also help when you are talking to others if you have a pen and paper handy to write or draw what you want to say. It will help too if you can stay calm, use gestures or point to key words or pictures if you cannot think of the correct word. Or you might try to describe something differently, to make your point.

People with severe aphasia may have problems making choices. For example if you are offering tea or coffee to them it is important to do it in stages and start by asking "Do you want tea?". Wait for a nod or smile before asking if milk is required. Then finally go through the same process for sugar. If tea is refused, repeat the same routine for coffee.Turning off background noise from a radio or televison will help them concentrate too.

The Stroke Association in England publishes what it calls Apahasia Etiquette for dealing with people with aphasia which it summarises as ... ASK ... WAIT ... LISTEN.

  • ASK ... Face me when you speak ... ask me what helps ...speak slowly and clearly using short sentences.
  • WAIT... Wait for a response without interrupting ... repeat or reword the sentence if I do not respond
  • LISTEN... Check that Yes/No responses are reliable...use gestures to confirm, like thumbs up or down.