How stroke affects the ability to communicate

Brain damage can affect all areas of human functioning. Deficits will depend on the type of injury, the location and initial severity of the injury ... as well as the characteristics of each affected person such as age, personality or abilities prior to the injury. The ictus frequently presents a wide variety of cognitive alterations, communication and behavior.

Stroke and alterations in communication capacity

In language disorders, the patient who has suffered a ictus It presents different disorders. Some of the most significant are the inability to emit sounds and words, passing through the affectation of speech, which becomes unintelligible. It may also happen that you do not understand conversations with family or neighbors, and problems of location on the street, inability to make purchases and problems with reading and writing.

Can they also have swallowing problems?

Indeed, in the stroke arises the difficulty to transport the food or saliva from the mouth to the esophagus (dysphagia) is a usual sequel, thus diminishing the effectiveness, understood as the nutritional and hydration contribution sufficient for human subsistence, nevertheless to eat It is not just an act of subsistence but a social act, it is part of our culture, the alteration of the swallowing process limits the quality of general life and increases clinical complications.

Swallowing problems after suffering a stroke

- Difficulties in the act of eating and swallowing food.
- Choking during the meal.
- Pain during swallowing.
- Difficulty chewing.
- Increased production of saliva, drooling.
- Difficulty to swallow.
- Changes of the voice.

Respiratory problems after stroke

- Sleep apnea.
- Bad respiratory coordination.

The speech therapist in the rehabilitation of patients after stroke

The speech therapist must be part of the interdisciplinary teams of patients who have suffered an icts because, a comprehensive rehabilitation is the most efficient when it comes to helping a person achieve the greatest independence possible after having suffered a stroke. Speech therapists work with the patient and the family in recovery and in adapting the effects of stroke. The objective of the rehabilitation is for the patient to develop their maximum potential in all areas.

The speech therapist can help with problems swallowing and eating after a cerebrovascular accident Dietary changes may be needed, such as thickening fluids or eating mashed foods. Some people will need a permanent feeding tube, called a gastrostomy tube, and will help in the rehabilitation of communication, speech, speech, and swallowing.

What are the benefits of speech therapy in stroke patients?

The evidence is that rehabilitation therapy must be started as soon as possible. The ideal time to start it is when the patient's life risk has been overcome, that is, in the subacute phase. In this way, there will be benefits for everyone. On the one hand, the patient will have more possibilities of recovering completely, and on the other hand, the duration of the rehabilitation will be less saving public health costs.

The early arrest of dysphagia in stroke is fundamental, it has been shown that better and faster recovery is achieved.

How do you intervene with these patients?

1. It consists of the first contact between the speech therapist, the patient and the family. The evaluation assesses: swallowing, condition of the orofacial musculature, voice and expressive and compressive language, speech, reading, writing and verbal and nonverbal communication.
2. A meeting with the family is held in order to deliver the speech therapy report and give a series of guidelines that facilitate communication with your family member.
3. The rehabilitation phase It will depend on the severity of the injury since each person has a ceiling of recovery, it is very difficult to know when the person will complete the recovery process. Therefore, this period will end when that ceiling is reached.

What should patients and family members know?

The speech therapist should be a support for the family when it comes to raising the real expectations of recovery of your family member. Working the same objectives, maintaining a fluid communication and valuing the contributions that we can offer each other, we will all work in one direction: the rehabilitation and improvement of the quality of life of people who have suffered brain damage.

Sofia of the Source. Speech therapist

It may interest you:

- Stroke has increased 40% in the last 15 years

- Exercise in childhood reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases

- Caring for the heart: a question of education

- How to take care of children's hearts

Video: How to Speak with Someone After a Stroke-(Aphasia)

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