Coping with Aphasia: Caregiver’s guide
Coping with Aphasia: Caregiver’s guide
Coping with Aphasia is not easy. It can be a very daunting task. Your loved one with aphasia isn’t the only person feeling sad and depressed. Caregivers get sad, too. In fact, some get downright depressed. Here are some tips that will guide you to help your loved one and also YOURSELF when going through this journey together.
At this point, you will be having a lot of questions about Aphasia. Yes, you will need some help. Talk with the social worker, the doctors, speech therapists, physiotherapists, etc. You will receive advice & strategies on how to cope with Aphasia. Initially, it may seem a lot to process as there are various professionals involved. Take help from a close friend or a family member. You don’t have to do this alone.
Take care of yourself
For you to take care of someone else, you must first take care of yourself. Have your meals from time to time. Do not skip them. Get as much rest as you require. You can also let your doctor know about your present situation. They may prescribe any necessary medications if you need them.
Accept the diagnosis
Accepting a diagnosis can be very difficult emotionally. And it is ok to feel the way that you do. There can be uncertainties many times regarding the recovery of the person with Aphasia. However, every day brings hope and a promise of progress. With every progress that they make, it gives hope to you and your loved one.
Ask for help
Many times it may become difficult for you to single-headedly help your loved one with Aphasia. This can take a toll on your mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Do not shy away from asking for help. Accept offers from friends and family members to help with various tasks like running errands, meals, shopping, etc. so that you can get some time off for yourself.
Find a support group for yourself
There are various support groups that are available that offer strategies on how to cope with the “new normal”. These support groups will help you with your mental & emotional well-being. Support groups are also very helpful in giving you various strategies while coping with Aphasia and also support your loved one.
Find a support group for your loved one
Similar to support groups for yourself, your loved one with Aphasia will also require support. You can get in touch with other individuals with Aphasia who are undergoing speech, occupational & physiotherapy. This is important as it gives your loved one & yourself hope that tomorrow is going a brighter day.
Some of the support groups such as the Aphasia and Stroke Association of India and Stroke Support India are available. Their websites list various resources in English and Indian local languages as well. Volunteer speech therapists are also listed on the community section from whom you can seek speech and language therapy.
Learn communication strategies to communicate with your loved one
Every individual with Aphasia is different. And these different individuals with Aphasia have different needs for communication. A Speech Therapist will help you and your loved one with Aphasia with various communication strategies. The speech therapist may also recommend regular speech therapy & other modes of communication along with the strategies. Consult a Speech Therapist here at 1SpecialPlace.
Find out your loved one’s strengths & refine them
Identify your loved one’s strengths. Make a list of the things that they are good at. People with Aphasia have various interests like singing, drawing, reading, etc. Engage in meaningful activities that your loved one will enjoy such as puzzles, games, family activities, etc. Once you find out what these strengths are, work towards improving those skills. This will help motivate your loved one.
Learning to accept limitations
There may be some activities with regards to your loved one’s profession that your loved one may not be able to carry on with after the stroke. Although there will be progress, we must also be realistic about it. There may be some limitations with regards to the activities that your loved one may not be able to carry out. They may need additional assistance to do such activities. It is very important during this time, while coping with aphasia, to accept the limitations and provide as much support as they require.
Tell your story
There are lakhs of people in India who have acquired Aphasia. Nevertheless, everybody’s progress is different and everyone has a different story to tell. Additionally, you can tell your story and how your journey with your loved one with Aphasia has been. Just like how you found comfort in the support groups, there might be other families that may be looking out for people with real-life experiences such as yours while coping with Aphasia. The support groups can be excellent platforms where you can send in your personal experiences and even a few tips so that it is available for anyone who needs them.
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