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Four Tips to Help Adults with Aphasia Communicate

Aphasia is a specific type of communication disorder. Your family member may have a difficult time understanding words or coming up with them in conversation. She may struggle to find the correct words in given situations. Aphasia makes communication extremely difficult. It’s often a result of stroke, but can also accompany developmental disabilities.

Use Props for Common Words and Phrases

Sometimes props can function as a shortcut for your family member when she’s trying to say something specific, especially if it’s a word or phrase that you use often together. These can be actual items or pictures of those items. It can be easier for your family member to point to or to pick up an item than it can be for her to articulate the word for the object.

Use a Notepad for More Complicated Communication

In some cases, if you write something down or if your family member writes something down, that makes communication that much easier. Keeping a notepad handy also allows you to refer to previous conversations that might have been helpful recently. You can also take notes on different observations you’re making about your family member’s ability to communicate.

Speak Slowly and Try to Keep the Conversation Calm

Often when conversations become difficult because of aphasia that complicates everything even more. Do what you can to keep the conversation calm. Speak slowly and with an even tone. This can usually help to adjust the overall tone, even if you’re talking about something very commonplace. If your family member is having a particularly difficult time talking, slow down and take a time out for a little bit. Revisiting the conversation after a bit of a rest can help.

Keep a Description of Aphasia Handy When Out and About

Other people may not always understand aphasia or how it affects your family member’s ability to communicate. It can help to carry a card or pamphlet with you that gives people information about aphasia. You may find that people are more willing to be patient and helpful than you suspect. It’s sometimes easier to assume the worst than it is to hope for the best. Education can do a lot in those situations, though.

Home care for adults with developmental disabilities can help your family member cope with aphasia. Her speech therapists and other professionals may offer her tools to use, and home care providers can make those tools easier to access on a daily basis.

If you are considering residential habilitation in Brownsburg, IN, please call the caring staff at RSI Cares. Serving Greater Indianapolis Area. Call for Immediate Info & Assistance: 317-471-0750.

Etelka Froymovich

RN, MHA, Founder at Residential Services Inc.
Etelka Froymovich founded Home Services Unlimited in 1997

As a practicing Registered Nurse, Etelka was keenly aware of a void in quality patient care that could be provided in the home. She embarked upon a journey to develop a home health care agency that would exceed all expectations and become a trusted partner to physicians and patients.

A Distinguished Career From Nurse to Director of Nursing to President of Home Services Unlimited
Etelka’s distinguished career followed a logical progression to her position as President of Home Services Unlimited. She graduated as a nurse practitioner with a Bachelor of Nursing (RN) in 1972 from Meshgorya University in the Ukraine, close to where she lived with her family. She married her husband Phil in 1973 and decided in 1977 that they would relocate to the United States to be closer to family and to come to this land of opportunity. With an eagerness to continue her budding career, Etelka sat for and passed her Boards in the U.S. in 1979.

A Love and Talent for Working with the Elderly
Etelka began her nursing career in the U.S. at Colonial Crest, now part of Golden Living, where shewasthe In-service Coordinator, the Director of Training and Education and Director of Nursing, a position she occupied for several years.
With a group of partners, she co-founded Adept Corporation, which operated group homes for the mentally challenged. The business was successful and in 1996, Etelka sold her share to return to her roots, caring for the elderly.
In January of 1997, Etelka opened Home Services Unlimited as a fully licensed business to provide home health care. In her quest to learn to do better for her patients, she had already obtained a Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) in May of 1990 from the College of St. Francis. As President of Home Services Unlimited, Inc., Etelka guides the trusted, experienced care model Home Services Unlimited uses to continue providing excellent home health care.

Giving Back to the Community of Indianapolis
Volunteering for community services is a high priority for Etelka. Her memberships include the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Executive Women in Health Care and the Indiana Association for Home and Hospice Care, where she is a member of the Board of Directors.
Etelka has also served on the Board of Directors with Hooverwood Home, a highly regarded geriatric facility, since 1997 and as the President for 2005-2006. Through her community work, she has received several awards and accolades, including the Nora McFarland award in 2002, from the Indiana Association of Home and Hospice Care.
Etelka was honored as a “Health Care Hero” by the Indianapolis Business Journal. The issue can be read online here:

After clicking on the link, then click on the image of the issue’s front page. After that, you can browse through the issue or click in a box near the top of your internet browser to adjust the page to 17, which is where Etelka’s article appears.

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