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6 Tools that Can Ease Communication for Stroke Survivors

With a firm commitment to participating in their rehab plans and plenty of support from family members and friends, seniors may be able to regain important and meaningful skills after a stroke. Because the ability to communicate is often affected by a stroke, one thing you can do to help your ageing loved one achieve his or her recovery goals is to provide access to the right communication devices and tools. Here are six suggestions to consider.

1. Smartphones

A smartphone can be an excellent communication device for your parent. Your loved one can send text messages (if his or her dexterity hasn’t been affected) or tap an emergency button to request help. There are also many different apps specially designed for stroke survivors. Consider downloading the following communication apps to your loved one’s phone:

• SmallTalk from Lingraphica – Allows stroke survivors to easily practice their speech and communication skills

• MyTalkTools – Displays picture icons so seniors can quickly express themselves

• Constant Therapy – Includes a series of exercises seniors can do to enhance their communication capabilities

2. Intercoms

It’s not always possible to be in the room with your loved one while he or she recovers from a stroke. An intercom can provide added peace of mind for seniors and family carers by allowing for instant communication even if you’re not in the same room. Newer models are wireless and can be conveniently moved from one room to another as needed.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. North Coast families can rely on expertly trained care workers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while ageing in place.

3. Speech Tablets

Designed to help seniors with communication difficulties related to a stroke (aphasia), speech tablets minimise frustration and confusion by allowing senior stroke survivors to choose from predefined words and phrases conveniently grouped by categories (e.g., food, places, questions, etc.). All they do is tap on the buttons that correspond to what they wish to express. Plus, the words and phrases can be edited and customised to fit your loved one’s preferences. Some speech tablets also have a delay feature to prevent unintentionally tapping the same button more than once. Others have a “questions” category so you can add common questions your loved one asks frequently.

4. Dry Erase Boards

If your loved one is still able to use his or her hands after the stroke, a dry erase board can be an effective way to communicate. These boards are small and easy to handle. They also come with erasable markers that make it easy for your loved one to write messages, make lists, or even be artistically creative.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. North Coast live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in care worker, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while ageing in place.

5. Security Monitoring Devices

Seniors often have difficulty moving around after a stroke even after they’re back in their own homes. Many security monitoring companies offer special devices seniors can wear so they can instantly request help with the press of a button. Your loved one can quickly communicate his or her need for assistance when nobody is immediately available. The company will then alert appropriate medical professionals and family members.

6. Communication Boards

If your loved one is still at a point where he or she is unable to clearly communicate and has limited motor skills because of the stroke, a communication board can be useful. It’s simply a board with symbols, words, and images, and your loved one only has to point at the items that match what he or she wishes to express.

These devices can stimulate cognition and make communication easier for senior stroke survivors, and so can having a trained care worker close by. Families looking for top-rated elder care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialised Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Call Home Care Assistance at (02) 6646 3527 to learn more about our flexible and customisable senior care plans.