There are many ways to help a person with aphasia.
Keep distractions and noise down:
- Turn off the radio and TV.
- Move to a quieter room.
Talk to people who have aphasia in adult language. Do not make them feel as if they are a child. Do not pretend to understand them if you do not.
If they can not understand you, do not shout. Unless they also have a hearing problem, shouting will not help. Make eye contact when talking to the person with aphasia.
When you ask questions:
- Ask questions in a way they can answer you with a simple "yes" or "no."
- When possible, give clear choices for possible answers, but do not give them too many choices.
- Visual prompts are also helpful, when you can give them.
When you give instructions:
- Break down instructions into small and simple steps.
- Allow time for the person with aphasia to understand. Sometimes this can be a lot longer than you expect.
- If the patient becomes frustrated, consider changing to another activity.
You can encourage the person with aphasia to use other ways to communicate. Some are:
- Hand gestures
It may help the person with aphasia and their caregivers to make a book with pictures or words about common topics or people so that they can communicate better.
Always try to keep the person with aphasia involved in conversations. Check with them to make sure they understand. But do not push too hard for them to understand, since this may cause more frustration.
Do not try to correct the person with aphasia if they remember something incorrectly.
Begin to take the person with aphasia out more, as they become more confident. This will allow them to practice communicating and understanding in real-life situations.
When leaving someone with speech problems alone, make sure they have an ID card that:
- Has information on how to contact family members or caregivers
- Explains their speech problem and how best to communicate with them
Consider joining support groups for people with aphasia and their families.