Stroke damage in the brain can affect the entire body, causing mild to severe disabilities, including paralysis, weakness, problems with thinking, speaking and swallowing and emotional difficulties. The damage from a stroke may be temporary or permanent. Your long-term recovery depends on how much of your brain is affected and how quickly treatment started, as well as several other factors. Your doctor will talk with you about your specific condition and recommend a plan for you.
If you are like most people who have had a stroke, you will work with one or more type of therapists such as those who specialize in Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy. Rehabilitative therapies are designed to help you recover as much physical ability as possible, adapt to new ways of doing things and prevent additional loss of strength and function. Typically, therapy will begin while you’re in the hospital, and continue at home, in an outpatient therapy setting, or for some patients, in a specialized stroke rehabilitation center or nursing care home.
Stroke can affect your speech and communication. Here are some tips to help both stroke survivors and caregivers cope with communication challenges:
- Practice helps. Try to have a conversation at least once every day. It will show you what works best for you, help you feel connected and rebuild your confidence.
- Relax and take your time. Talking may be easiest and most enjoyable in a relaxing situation when you have plenty of time. Some stroke survivors find that after dinner is a good time.
- Say it your way. When you are recovering from a stroke, you may need to use fewer words or rely on gestures or your tone of voice to get an idea across.
- Use props and communication aids. Try using cue cards with common words and pictures of close friends and family members. Watching a favorite television show or spending time on line may also help.