Modifying Your Parent's Care to Address Aphasia

Elderly Care in Rochester NY

Elderly Care in Rochester NYJune is National Aphasia Awareness Month and if your parent is suffering from this communication disorder, now is the ideal time for you to find meaningful ways to adjust their care to address these issues. Aphasia is a condition that occurs as a result of brain damage. Generally this is damage occurs to the left side of the brain, which contains the language centers. Those with damage to the right side of the brain, however, can also experience language issues and may experience other problems beyond these issues. This is why it is important for you to fully understand the challenges that your aging parent is experiencing so that you can help them in the way that is most appropriate for them.

The effects of aphasia can make it extremely difficult for your aging parent to express themselves or to understand what you are saying to them. Remember, however, that this condition does not impact intelligence or personality. This means that even if your parent is having trouble coming up with the right words or understanding written language it does not mean that they are less intelligent, a different person, or less capable of independence and autonomy. By making a few simple changes in your care approach you can help your parent to handle these challenges and continue to maintain a life that is meaningful, dignified, and connected with the world around them.

Some of the ways that you can make communication easier and more effective with a person who is dealing with aphasia include:

• Make sure that your parent is paying attention to you before you being to speak to them. Aphasia makes it more difficult for a person to interpret spoken word and it will be even more difficult if they are not fully engaged in the conversation.

• Use eye contact and interpretation of body language to help you understand what your parent is trying to say to you. That way even if they come up with words that do not seem to make sense, you may be able to understand what they are saying.

• Minimize background noise and other distractions when you are having a conversation with your parent. This will help them to concentrate specifically on you and what you are saying to them.

• Speak at a normal level. Even though it may seem like raising your voice may help, speaking too loudly can actually make it even more difficult for your parent to understand what you are saying.

• Show respect and dignity by giving your parent the time that they need to speak and not rushing the or trying to finish their thoughts for them.

• Ask simpler questions that require short answers.

• Do not insist that your parent speak perfectly or act like you do not understand what they are saying to try to force them to use the right words. Interpret rather than just hearing.

An elderly care provider can be a valuable source of support and care when your parent is dealing with aphasia. They can be there to encourage more activity and independence in your parent while offering assistance when necessary. This can give your parent greater confidence so they are more willing to get out and be more active.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Rochester, NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.