Tuesday, June 18, 2013

National Aphasia Awareness Month: Treating Speech Problems after a Stroke

As National Aphasia Awareness Month, June is a wonderful time to learn a bit about this disorder and how it is treated. Eldercare professionals in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, understand that aphasia can be frustrating for both seniors and their loved ones. By learning more about this condition—and the treatment options that are available—you can better help your elderly loved one through it.

What Is Aphasia?
Care for elderly individuals entails helping seniors through numerous health conditions. Strokes are devastating but unfortunately relatively common occurrences among the elderly population. In some cases, damage to the brain can cause aphasia. This disorder makes it difficult for seniors to communicate and, depending upon the damage that the brain suffers, may impact verbal, written, or both forms of communication.

Treatment Options
The two forms of treatment that are available to seniors who have aphasia include rehabilitation and medications. Rehabilitation via speech and language therapy can assist individuals in regaining their communication capabilities. However, it is important to keep in mind the fact that, though progress is often achieved with this treatment approach, it can prove exceptionally difficult to get seniors back to the communication levels they had prior to their stroke. This is due to the damage that the event caused in the brain.

The other form of treatment, medication, is a bit less prevalent in the medical world since more research needs to take place in order to better understand how medication can help seniors who have aphasia. Eldercare professionals note, though, that the studies conducted to date indicate that pharmaceuticals that increase blood flow to the brain may help the organ in healing and in creating neurotransmitters, which play a key role in cognitive function.

Supporting Your Senior
No matter what your loved one's treatment course, it is important that they have your love and support during the recovery process. Healing after a stroke is something that takes time and can, in many cases, become very frustrating for both elderly individuals and their loved ones; however, it is essential that you remain patient and show your support throughout the process to best help your senior heal. With this information in mind you may find it easier to help your loved one cope throughout their recovery.

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