More than seven million Americans are survivors of stroke and nearly a third of strokes result in aphasia, a problem with communication. And yet studies show that 84.5 per cent of people have never heard of the term aphasia. With difficulty communicating as result of damage to the brain, individuals can become isolated from their family and friends, withdrawing socially and avoiding community engagement. The risk for social isolation leading to depression increases the longer aphasia patients recovering from stroke remain uncommunicative.
Aphasia from injury to the brain as a result of a stroke is particularly common among older adults. It can also occur from a head trauma, brain tumors or from infection. Aphasia can be mild or severe and may affect the ability to retrieve the names of things or put words together into a sentence. For some, the impairment can affect the ability to read or write as well as with speech.
The range in how aphasia affects people is wide but it is always important for patients to keep working to communicate successfully from the very start of the recovery process. And with today’s smartphones and tablets, Apps are available that can help bridge the gap and allow people with problems communicating make themselves understood, practice their speech and remain more independent and connected.
The National Stroke Association has put together a list of Apps that can provide aphasia patients with alternative or augmented communication, type to text functions and products that offer speech practice to improve sounds, expression or comprehension. Talking photo apps are useful to communicate basic information that is used daily; the individual can take pictures of things they use or need in daily life and can assign words or phrases to the photos.
For a full list of apps follow this link to the Stroke Association website.