Aphasia is a language disorder. It comes from the ancient Greek word aphatos which means disturbance. What do we know about aphasia?
- There is dysfunction in specific regions of the brain which comprehend and formulate words into language.
- Patient has difficulty remembering words.
- May lose abilities to read, speak or write words.
- Visual language (for example sign language) is also affected
- Could be linked to brain damage
- Stroke is a common cause
- Head injury is a common cause
- Alzheimer’s, dementia, brain tumors or infections can also cause aphasia
There are four main types of aphasia
- Anomic aphasia – the person has troubles using the correct word for an event, an object or a place.
- Expressive aphasia – the person may know what he wants to say, but he runs into difficulties saying or even writing what he means.
- Global aphasia – he cannot speak. He can’t understand speech and he can’t read or write.
- Receptive aphasia – the person hears the voice or sees the words printed on the paper, but he can’t make sense of or understand anything about the words.
How is aphasia diagnosed?
- Clinical screenings completed by a neurologist
- Extensive testing by a speech-language pathologist
How is aphasia treated?
There isn’t a proven treatment method in existence that has been shown to be effective for treating all aphasia types. The nature of the illness makes it very complicated, and presents differently in each individual. The most effective treatments are those that have been catered specifically to the unique needs of each individual.
Are there any preventive measures for aphasia?
- Avoid risky behavior that could result in brain injury.
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a varied and healthy diet
- Avoid using tobacco
- Control blood pressure
- Avoid all risk factors for stroke
When increasing awareness for aphasia, it’s important to remember that this communication disorder is acquired. In other words, the condition can be traced back to an event (brain injury, dementia, stroke, etc.) Furthermore, it does not affect intelligence.
As an elderly care provider, you may have to learn pictorial communication methods to converse with an aphasia patient. Some components of the elderly adult’s communication may be damaged but some may not. Because each individual case is so different, there is no universal method for success.
Aphasia resulting from brain injury or stroke develops quickly, while that resulting from Alzheimer’s or dementia may be gradual. Some mild stroke patients may be able to regain all or most of their communication abilities when adequate therapies are begun as soon as possible.
The person suffering from aphasia can possibly become quite frustrated with the inability to understand and express language. The elderly adult who has aphasia for any reason will need more compassion and patience when it comes to language and communicating.
For all of your elderly care needs in Turnersville, NJ and the surrounding areas call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.