After reading iShe’s blog Aphasia in the house I’ve been thinking about the impact Aphasia can have on a house hold, and how it has (and still) impacts my loved ones. I wish I could tell you a simple solution, but I can’t, all I can tell you is it gets better. (The problem in writing this is I know the Aphasic person may not be able to read, so all I can hope is a friend or family member may find these useful.)
My tips for Aphasia in the house
To start with I would suggest:
1) It will take longer to get better than they tell you, don’t fight it. If you’re tired, sleep.
2) Try and keep a routine, an occupation therapist may be able to help with this.
3) I have to reduce the background noise. A fridge has a hum, a computer has a fan, dishwashers’ have a gurgling sound. If you’re struggling reduce a noise.
4) If that word is on the tip of your tongue, write it down, then try and say it. Keep a pen and paper handy.
5) Pets are good company, they stopped me feeling lonely. Plus a pet doesn’t care if you can’t speak properly!
6) Don’t be afraid to start reading children’s ladybird books and only the title of newspapers. Little by little. If you can’t do it today, try next week or next month.
7) I watch TV on mute a lot as sound can confuse me when I’m tired, but then a slow drama to start with. I only watched films I had already seen before, even when I’m tired I still do this.
8) Don’t underestimate the power of subtitles – with sound, or without sound.
9) If you can’t hear music (jumbled sound) start with classic music, no singing. Or try music with just one piano, very simple, then build on it.
10) If you’re bored take up a hobby which involves minimal thoughts, photography/gardening/knitting/crafting?
11) Social media (Facebook, Twitter etc). When you’re ready for it, don’t shy away from social media. A tweet is 140 characters, you can tweet-a-day to practise writing. You don’t need your friends to know. If you search #Aphasia you will find there are other Aphasic people to talk to on Twitter. You may need help to set up the account.
12) Acknowledge to you family and friends when you’re getting frustrated. They’ll only understand when you try and tell them, don’t give up on them.
Six years later I can write, it takes me a while to read a whole book, I still sleep 10 hrs, I still put the TV on mute when I’m tired, I hate being on the phone but I’ll give it a good go, I still feel fatigued, I still have to think before I speak as I can still mix up words. During those 6 years I went back to work full time, bought a flat (with phone help from my Mum) and have acquired a man who loves me stutters and all.
Don’t give up!!