4 Reasons Communication Boards Are Great Recovery Tools for Stroke Survivors

By Mark Schmidt, 9:00 am on July 15, 2019

Strokes often impact the parts of the brain that affect language. Your senior loved one’s stroke may have caused lingering symptoms, such as muscle weakness around the mouth, that make it difficult to speak. While your loved one may not be able to verbally express him or herself, you can find other ways to communicate. Communication boards help stroke survivors by providing these benefits during their recovery.

1. Provide a Way to Express Their Needs

Your loved one needs to be able to communicate with his or her medical team and caregivers when he or she has a concern, such as being in pain. Communication boards can include images, such as a series of facial expressions and numbers that allow your loved one to show how his or her pain feels on a scale of one to ten. Your loved one can also use the board to communicate when he or she is hungry or needs to use the restroom. Boards with images of food or clothing can also let seniors show preferences for specific parts of their daily routines.

An experienced professional caregiver can often provide useful 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 at-home care. Tucson families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

2. Ease Stress and Frustration

After a stroke, it’s normal to feel frustrated about being unable to communicate. Trying to express a need or want no one seems to understand can lead to negative behaviors. Your loved one is also more susceptible to depression and anxiety after a stroke due to the loss of control over his or her own life. With a communication board, your loved one may find it easier to get his or her thoughts across to others, which promotes a can-do attitude and positive spirit that influences the desire to work on strengthening his or her skills.

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, Tucson 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.

3. Begin Rebuilding Vocabulary and Language Skills

Every time seniors use communication boards, they stimulate brain activity related to language, memory, and reasoning abilities. At first, your loved one may need a simplified communication board that simply lets him or her answer “yes” or “no” to questions. Later on, your loved one may use pictures on the board to communicate, such as pointing to images of fruit to let you know he or she is ready for breakfast. Eventually, your loved one may prefer to spell out words using a communication board that includes letters. Each of these styles of using these boards promotes better oral language skills.

4. Help Them See Their Progress

Recovery from a stroke tends to be slow, and it can take several months to a year before your loved one reaches his or her peak language abilities. During this time, it may help to give your loved one a way to see his or her skills advancing. Being able to move from one style of board to another is a definite sign of progress. Your loved one can also measure progress by noticing how he or she begins to rely on the board less during social interactions.

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 senior home care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably. Home Care Assistance will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (520) 276-6555 to schedule a free in-home consultation.