What You Can Learn from National Aphasia Awareness Month
National Aphasia Awareness Month is an effort to educate people about a communicative disorder that affects more than 2 million people across the country. This national campaign is all about increasing public awareness about aphasia and recognizing the people and their families who live with the disorder or who care for those with it. Elderly adults are most likely to develop aphasia, so it’s an especially important topic for family caregivers to know about.
Aphasia is a disorder that disrupts a person’s ability to speak, read and understand language. It occurs when part of the brain that controls language and communication is damaged in some way. The most common cause of this brain damage is via a stroke. Other causes include brain infections, tumors, Alzheimer’s Disease or head injuries. While aphasia does cause communication problems it does not affect a person’s intelligence.
There is a wide range of symptoms and it can be mild to severe, depending on many factors. The most common symptoms of aphasia are difficulty in speaking and writing. This can include choosing the wrong words, mixing up words, speaking in short or one-word phrases, speaking or writing nonsense words and not speaking or writing at all. Many seniors with aphasia also experience difficulty in reading and understanding others.
While there is no cure for aphasia, it is possible to have improvement over the days, weeks, months and years after the initial diagnosis. Seniors can work with a speech and language pathologist to learn strategies for effective communication and to practice ways to compensate for the negative effects the disorder brings. Complete recovery is not very common and most elderly adults need daily help from family caregivers and senior care providers.
Another aspect of National Aphasia Awareness Month is to support the family caregivers that are responsible for their elderly loved ones who are not only facing life with aphasia but any number of related brain trauma due to the initial illness, injury or disease. Taking care of an aging relative with aphasia can be both rewarding and frustrating. When they are linked up with resources that help them care for their loved one, family caregivers are more effective and are less likely to be stressed out.
Family caregivers contribute a lot of time and dedication to their aging relatives and are on the front lines in dealing with the communication challenges the family faces. Many family members turn to experienced senior care providers to help their aging loved ones with the day-to-day care. Senior care providers can work with the elderly adults as they help out with bathing, dressing, housekeeping, laundry, pet care, meal preparation and companionship.
Overall, National Aphasia Awareness Month advocates hope to help seniors and family caregivers with everything they need to provide the affected person with an excellent quality of life, despite their communication issues. After all, communication is a key part of feeling connected to others, and seniors need to engage, even if they can’t use words like they used to. With a strong support network of family, friends, senior care providers and community resources, elderly adults will do much better.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering senior care in Norwalk, CT, please contact the caring staff at Executive Home Care in Stratford CT. Executive Care is operated by individuals who have dedicated their lives to providing quality in-home care services. Call today: 203-690-1963Back