More than 2 million people throughout the United States are currently living with a language disorder known as aphasia, but surveys show that less than 9 percent of people have actually heard of this condition and know what it is. As a family caregiver this can mean that you are confused by the presence of this condition and do not know how to give your loved one the care that they need to manage it properly and preserve their quality of life. Aphasia is a condition that is characterized by difficulty with spoken, written, or heard language. Your loved one might have trouble with just one of these categories or a combination of the depending on the area of the brain that is impacted by the damage, and the severity of that damage. In your role as their caregiver it is important to recognize that this condition does not mean that your parent is suffering from cognitive decline, intellectual problems, or mental illness. Your primary focus should be learning ways to maintain your communication with them and empower them to keep expressing themselves in accessible ways.
Use these tips to help you communicate with an elderly adult who is suffering from aphasia:
- Speak in a normal rhythm and pace. Speaking too fast or too slowly, or over-enunciating words can actually make them more difficult for your parent to understand effectively.
- Speak in a simpler sentence structure so that your parent can more readily understand what you are saying to them one sentence at a time rather than trying to decipher a more complex set of messages or instructions.
- Be patient and give your loved one plenty of time to express what they want to say. Rushing them or seeming impatient can frustrate and upset them, making it even more difficult for them to speak.
- Encourage alternative forms of communication, such as through drawings, gestures, or written messages.
- Forget about perfection and resist the urge to correct your parent. If you can understand what they are saying, even if it is not entirely correct, that is really all that matters.
- Continue to engage with them in normal ways, including spending time with them, having conversations, and encouraging them to socialize.
Starting elderly care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you can make for them throughout the course of your caregiver journey with them. An elderly home care services provider can be with your senior on a customized schedule that ensures that no matter the type of care that is right for them, they will get what they need when they need it. This ensures that they are able to receive all of the care, support, and assistance that is right for them while also keeping you at the forefront of their care routine. There is a misconception that elderly care is only appropriate for those seniors who are very “old” or who have extensive needs. This is not the case. Instead, even seniors who are dealing with mild to moderate needs can also gain tremendous benefits from this type of highly personalized care, helping the to manage their needs, take care of their activities of daily living, and maintain a more active, engaged, and fulfilling quality of life as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Statesville, NC, please call the professional staff at Caring at Heart today at (704) 379-7510. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail