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Tip 1 Labels

Tip: Use labels for items around the house, like: kitchen, bathroom, refrigerator, cupboard, cup, etc. to help stroke survivor with communication and re-teaching their brain the names of things.

Practice Activity: Caregiver can work with charge everyday or few times a week saying and locating the items around the house. Try mixing it up by doing 1 room a day or different types of items, small to big for example. Another way to approach this activity is for the caregiver to say the name of the item and have the stroke survivor locate it. They may have an easier time finding it than saying it and they can build confidence and communication skills this way.

Bonus: The stroke survivor could also practice writing the items or drawing a picture or symbol. Writing is a great way to communicate when saying the words is difficult. The labels will help with recognizing and spelling the words they need too. Keep a writing pad close by for them. Your charge might draw a picture or symbol – No one way is better than another. You, as caregiver, and he or she as your charge just need to find a communication system that works for you. Also remember that the brain will reteach itself many things and communication does get better with time and recovery.

Recovery is a long process - but you will see improvements every week. 1 year to 18 months is a long recovery period - be patient.

What works for us: writing things is the way my mom communicates when she can’t say the word she wants. She had to learn to be left handed but it works. Having the word written also makes it easier for me to understand her too. Even if it’s not spelled exactly right – it is usually close enough for me to “get it.”

Empathy exercise - Caregivers: Try going an hour, or a day, or a week without using any spoken words. Try to communicate with your spouse, children, family or friends without using your words. It’s harder than you think.

Additional tips:

• Remember, a stroke survivor with permanent aphasia usually KNOWS what they want to say, they just can’t make thier mouth say it.

• Be patient, this is frustrating and maybe the hardest part for many stroke victims and caregivers.

• Have a good sense of humor, we don’t want to laugh AT them and make them feel bad, but any excuse for a good chuckle helps us get through the day.

• If you have young children around or who visit, the labels will help them with their spelling too – include them and let them work with stroke survivor on some of these activities. If you encourage them to be the helper/teacher, they might not realize you’re having them do homework.

• When it’s a family affair (stroke survivor living in your home as extended family) – include the whole family. Everyone can help, everyone can communicate, and everyone can laugh together.

Humor: In the first year after my mom's stroke, we rented the Fat Albert movie (very cute family movie btw) In the movie, just like the original cartoon series, there is a character called mush mouth or something like that. He speaks in mush - sounds almost like pig latin without the latin. Anyway, while watching the movie, my mom says, " hey that's me." We laughed so hard tears were rolling down our faces. Ever since then, when we need a good giggle rather than get frustrated and upset - we remember mush mouth.


RATE THIS TIP

Please take a few minutes and send me your feedback !!!

Use the following scale to rate the objectives in this exercise

1 - not helpful or useful at all
2 - some of it was helpful or useful
3 - helpful and useful
4 - Very helpful and useful - The stroke survivor is making great progress

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Tip: Using Labels

Are you a:   stroke survivor caregiver *professional

Tip

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Using Labels to help communicate
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What works for us notes
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Empathy Exercise
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Additional tips
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Comments:

 

 


*professional in this case means one who works with stroke survivors,
like nurse, doctor, physical, speech, or occupational therapist etc.

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Copy and paste into an email and send to bon42269@aol.com, comments and suggestions welcome.

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