Actor Bruce Willis announced his retirement from a long-acting career.
The reason he gave was that he has aphasia and can no longer manage to do the duties his job requires. What is aphasia? What can a family caregiver or a home care services provider do when aphasia is diagnosed?
What Is Aphasia?
The National Aphasia Association estimates that around one million Americans have this condition. It usually appears in middle age, but it can appear in children, too.
Aphasia is a neurogenic language disorder that usually follows a head injury or stroke. It can also appear slowly or when a brain tumor is present. Whatever causes it, it affects the ability to speak, express thoughts and feelings, or be able to read and write.
It’s not to be confused with dementias like Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s progresses slowly and impacts different areas of the brain that manage memories, emotions, and motor skills. Aphasia’s progression impacts the area of the brain that processes language and understanding.
If the condition was the result of a mild stroke, it’s possible that aphasia will improve. But, it may be around for the rest of a person’s life.
What Do You Do If Your Dad Has Aphasia?
After your dad’s medical diagnosis, it’s likely that he’ll start working with a speech therapist. Helping him maintain as much of his communication skills as possible is important. Your family may also be asked to attend sessions to learn ways to communicate with him and understand what he wants or needs when he struggles to communicate it.
Communication is likely the only thing that your dad will struggle with. You’ll probably find he is still able to go for walks, go out for dinner, and drive his car. He just can’t communicate well with others along the way.
Make sure he’s supported by his family and friends. If you need support, there are support groups specific to aphasia. Your dad may want to attend with you.
Hire Home Care
Most importantly, hire home care aides to help your dad. If he needs to go grocery shopping, it will help him to have an aide that can communicate for him. He may need his home care aide to tell the butcher what he needs to buy. He might need someone to speak for him at the register.
In addition to companion care services, your dad benefits from having someone around to schedule appointments, remind him when an appointment is coming up, and provide emotional support when he’s feeling down.
Home care services can help your dad with other aspects of his daily activities of living. If he has a harder time reading a recipe and preparing a meal, his caregiver can help him cook meals, prepare snacks, and clean up after. He might appreciate having a caregiver available to answer the phone and help him pay bills, too.
Make arrangements for home care services by making a call. Discuss your dad’s health issues and what he’s able to do independently. A care plan is developed during that conversation.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Yuba City, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties!
Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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