Older adults who have had strokes often have difficulty with communication because stroke-related brain damage sometimes results in an inability to comprehend and use speech—a stroke side effect known as aphasia. If you’re caring for a senior stroke survivor, keep reading to discover some communication devices that may help your family member express him or herself better while going through the recovery process.
1. Communication Boards
A communication board is a low-tech type of device that gives stroke survivors the ability to communicate by pointing to words and images related to what they’re trying to say. It’s a good option during the early stages of stroke recovery, when there’s more likely to be an inability to write or verbalise needs and thoughts.
A highly trained professional care worker can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who’s recovering from a stroke. Families looking for top-rated Newcastle in-home 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.
2. Specially Designed Laptops
Senior stroke survivors sometimes have both communication difficulties and physical limitations that prevent them from typing and scrolling while using a laptop or similar device. Specially designed laptops with hands-free technology can allow seniors with both of these issues to rebuild their communication skills by using common graphic icons, phrases, and videos that deliver their intended messages.
3. Text-to-Speech Apps
A text-to-speech app is similar to a communication board, except it can be set up on a mobile device. Once set up, any of these apps can be used to turn text into speech. These apps can be especially handy when stroke survivors get to the point where they’re beginning to socialise again. Similar apps include features that allow for:
• The ability to upload personal images and videos that can be included with the delivered message
• Use on a tablet computer to enhance ease of use for seniors who may have difficulty manipulating smaller screens
• Stored messages and corresponding responses to be selected and spoken with the touch of a button
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. Newcastle, NSW, 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.
4. Symbol Sets
Older stroke survivors who are unable to read or spell following a stroke may benefit from the use of symbol sets. One product of this nature is a talking mat, which has sets of picture symbols that represent a wide range of common functions, expressions, and phrases. The symbols can be selected in a way that delivers the intended message, even if only certain fingers can be moved.
5. Wearable Microphones
A stroke sometimes weakens the throat and vocal cord muscles, affecting vocal quality, tone, and volume. A wearable microphone provides the desired amplification for senior stroke survivors with vocal projection difficulties. There are microphones of this nature that are small and wireless, so they can be easily and discreetly worn.
A whiteboard is another low-tech device that’s good for older stroke survivors who still have the ability to use their hands without much difficulty. All that’s needed is a basic whiteboard and a marker. A set of multicoloured erasable markers can also be used to give stroke survivors more freedom and creativity to express themselves as they work on their communication capabilities.
These devices can stimulate cognition and make communication easier for senior stroke survivors, and so can having a trained care worker close by. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home care workers who provide high-quality elderly home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably. To learn about our high-quality in-home aged care services, give us a call at (02) 4089 3000 today.