| Tue, Jan 06, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Aphasia: 7 Tips to Help Make Communicating Easier

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

aphasiaDoes your loved one have aphasia and one or both of you get frustrated when trying to communicate with each other? You may hold the key to better communication.

Aphasia is a condition that impairs a person’s ability to speak, read and write, or understand what other people are saying. Aphasia is usually caused by disease or a brain injury, like a stroke or a blow to the head. Communication problems can be mild to severe. Aphasia is not the same thing as having trouble processing a thought or finding a word. It also has nothing to do with a person’s level of intelligence.

Aphasia can make communication difficult and if you don’t know how to do it effectively, someone usually gets frustrated and gives up.

A speech therapist is an important component in the treatment of aphasia. Not only does the therapist diagnose and help treat the type of aphasia, the therapist will often train the caregivers of the aphasia patient to communicate effectively with their loved one. Under most circumstances, Medicare Part B will pay for speech therapy through outpatient rehabilitation.

7 Tips to Communicate More Effectively

1. Make sure you have your loved one’s full attention before you begin speaking.

2. Speak slowly and use short sentences. This makes it easier to decipher and respond.

3. Be patient and give your loved one time to process what was said and to give a response. Do not finish the sentence for your loved one.

4. Do not ask open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking what they want for dinner, be more specific. Ask if they want spaghetti or chicken and then wait for a response.

5. Do not insist they pronounce every word perfectly every time.

6. Ask your loved one for a Yes or No response to clarify that you are communicating successfully.

7. Provide visual cues and tools like hand gestures or pen and paper to write down questions and answers.

For more information on aphasia, watch this video from the National Aphasia Association.

To get a free Aphasia Wallet ID card, call or email the National Aphasia Association at (800) 922-4622 or naa@aphasia.org.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


National Aphasia Association: A resource for public education, research, rehabilitation and support services to assist people with aphasia and their families.

Denied Rehab Therapy Just Because Your Medical Condition is Not Improving?: Medicare Made Clear

Family Caregiver Alliance: Resources and tips for caregivers. Caregiver.org


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