There are many ways to help people 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 children. DO NOT pretend to understand them if you do not.
If a person with aphasia cannot understand you, DO NOT shout. Unless the person also has a hearing problem, shouting will not help. Make eye contact when talking to the person.
When you ask questions:
- Ask questions so they can answer you with "yes" or "no."
- When possible, give clear choices for possible answers. But do not give them too many choices.
- Visual cues 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 to understand. Sometimes this can be a lot longer than you expect.
- If the person becomes frustrated, consider changing to another activity.
You can encourage the person with aphasia to use other ways to communicate, such as:
- Hand gestures
It may help a person with aphasia, as well as their caregivers, to have a book with pictures or words about common topics or people so that communication is easier.
Always try to keep people 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 people with aphasia if they remember something incorrectly.
Begin to take people 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 the person has an ID card that:
- Has information on how to contact family members or caregivers
- Explains the person's speech problem and how best to communicate
Consider joining support groups for people with aphasia and their families.