How to Use Communication Boards to Assist a Stroke Survivor

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Stroke survivors often have difficulty with communication when they first begin their recovery. Depending on the area of the brain affected by the stroke, your aging loved one may lose the ability to form understandable speech or comprehend what others are saying. Communication boards can ease frustration during recovery by giving stroke survivors an option that helps them express their needs and emotions.

Explore the Different Types of Communication Boards

A communication board can be as simple as the words “yes” and “no” written on a piece of paper, or it could be as complicated as a chart of digital images shown on a computer screen. Talk to your loved one’s therapists about the types of communication boards available to find the best ones to fit your loved one’s abilities. For instance, your loved one may need a board that can be glanced at if he or she is unable to move, or he or she might benefit from a touchscreen option that lets him or her simply press a thumb on the image that depicts the desired answer.

Start Simple for People with Severe Communication Challenges

Even with a communication board, stroke survivors may have difficulty conveying their thoughts. In the early stages of recovery, try sticking to simple questions that only require one-word answers you can place on the board. Over time, you can add more images to the board and ask increasingly complicated questions to stimulate your loved one’s need to make progress with his or her speech.

Experienced professional caregivers can often provide tips for communicating with senior stroke survivors. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional in-home care. Richmond families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Teach Other Family Members How to Use the Boards

Ideally, the strategies your family uses should be consistent. Show your other family members and any professional caregivers how to use the boards. You’ll also want to create a handy place to store them so everyone can easily find the boards they need to communicate. For instance, you may want to place a board with your loved one’s meal options in the kitchen.

Use Communication Boards with Other Therapies

Many communication boards can be used with your loved one’s prescribed therapeutic exercises. For instance, your loved one can use a communication board to review vocabulary words or people’s names in speech therapy. Make sure to collaborate with your loved one’s other care providers. This way, you can add words or images to the board that enhance what he or she practices in therapy.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Try High-Tech Options

Electronic communication boards provide a variety of benefits for seniors who are recovering from strokes. You can choose an electronic communication app that allows you to organize different boards to use for specific situations. These boards allow you to upload personal photos to create a customized communication tool that’s easier for your loved one to use. The boards you create can also be shared among members of your loved one’s caregiving team to enhance continuity of care. 

Having a caregiver close by can give your loved one peace of mind while he or she recovers from a stroke. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Richmond Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at Richmond (804) 741-0009 or Williamsburg (757) 220-3151.