Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. While physical disability is a major risk for an elderly adult who has suffered this type of medical emergency, as a family caregiver, you should know there are other changes common to strokes that can negatively impact your senior for months or even years after their stroke. One area where these changes can significantly impact your parent is communication.
There are many different ways communication can change after a stroke, including difficulty coming up with the right words, struggles understanding spoken communication, and difficulty with reading and writing. These can greatly affect your parent’s daily functioning, mental and emotional health, and perspective of themselves. An important part of your caregiver efforts for your senior during this time will be helping your senior cope with their changes in communication so they can continue to express themselves, exert their independence, and maintain their quality of life as they recover and age.
Use these tips to help your parent cope with changes in communication after a stroke:
- Remember that communication issues don’t mean your parent has lost any of their intellectual ability. They are still the same person and think the same way, they are just having difficulty expressing it. Do not treat your parent differently or as though they are no longer as intelligent, creative, or complex as they were before their stroke.
- Be patient with your parent as they try to communicate. They may need to take extra time to express themselves and rushing them will be frustrating and upsetting to them. Give them plenty of time and resist the urge to push them, rush them, or try to finish their thoughts for them.
- Adopt new ways to communicate. All communication doesn’t have to be spoken. Instead, find a way your parent can comfortably and confidently express themselves, and encourage them to use that method. This might mean writing, gesturing, or using different words.
- Avoid correcting your parent. Not only is it upsetting and embarrassing to them, but it also will not change anything. Their brain is not processing the communication correctly, and telling them they are wrong will not change what your parent does or says.
Stroke can be a devastating event, but as a family caregiver, you do not have to cope with the effects on your own. The help of a home care provider can be instrumental in helping your senior through their recovery and then moving forward in a healthier way. An in-home senior care services provider offers personalized services specifically designed to help your parent manage their needs and challenges in the ways that are right for them so they can recover from their stroke, adapt to changes it might have caused, and focus on living a healthier life as they age.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Beaverton, OR, please contact the caring staff at Integrity In-Home Care. Call today (503) 660-3755