Aphasia is condition that robs people of their ability to communicate. It can affect their ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written. Aphasia can occur after a stroke or a head injury. People with dementia, most commonly Parkinson’s Disease can develop this frustrating ailment. This ailment might frustrate you, as a caregiver too. Not knowing what your clients wants is frustrating. They can’t help it, but you can help. Caregivers can instill comfort, understanding and reassurance when someone with aphasia is trying to find their words. Asking close ended questions (yes or no questions) and allowing extra time for your client to answer is important. Imagine if you had your response on the tip of your tongue, but couldn’t convey it. Aphasia suffers know what they want, they just can’t express it to you. They can hear your directive, but the directive may be all jumbled in their mind when they hear it. Things as simple as answering the phone, ordering from a menu or completing paperwork prove to be daunting tasks!
Much patience is needed while caring for a client who has aphasia. Practicing deep breathing and remember, it’s not their fault!
Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.org/, http://www.aphasia.org/, http://www.asha.org/