Understanding Aphasia

Senior Care Saratoga, CA: Understanding Aphasia

Aphasia is a problem that commonly occurs after an older adult has a stroke, though it can have other causes. It is a communication disorder that happens because of damage done to the areas of the brain that controls language. June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, a month dedicated to educating people about aphasia and how it impacts lives.

General Information About Aphasia

Aphasia can affect people of any age, but it is most common during middle aged people and older adults. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are approximately 1 million people in the United States with aphasia.

Aphasia can affect a person’s ability to communicate via speaking and via writing. Although the disorder usually happens without warning because of a stroke or head injury, it can also develop gradually because of a brain tumor or some other disease that causes damage to the language centers of the brain. The degree to which the disorder affects the older adult depends on how badly the brain is damaged and where the damage occurs.

Kinds of Aphasia

Doctors usually describe aphasia as one of the following kinds:

  • Non fluent Aphasia: This kind of aphasia is also referred to as Broca aphasia. It is the result of damage to the left front part of the brain. People with this type often speak in short sentences that don’t include all the words. For example, they might say, “Want water” instead of “I want a glass of water.” Some people with non-fluent aphasia can understand others better than they can speak.
  • Fluent Aphasia: People with fluent aphasia can say long sentences with no problem. However, they use nonsense words, the wrong words, or add words that are not needed. They typically don’t understand others well and don’t realize that others don’t understand them, either.
  • Global Aphasia: This type of aphasia happens because of massive damage to the brain. People with global aphasia are severely disabled in terms of being able to speak or understand others.

Symptoms of Aphasia

The symptoms of aphasia can vary and depend on the type of aphasia the senior has. Some common symptoms are:

  • Sentences are short or not complete.
  • Uses sentences that don’t make sense.
  • Makes word and/or sound substitutions.
  • Uses “nonsense” words.
  • Don’t understand when other people speak.
  • Writing doesn’t make sense.

If your aging relative has aphasia, a senior care provider can help. Senior care providers are often paired with clients who have conditions they are familiar and experienced with. Your older family member’s senior care provider can assist them to communicate with others. The senior care provider can encourage the senior to use pictures or gestures that help to get their meaning across. Senior care providers also have the patience and compassion needed to slowly and effectively communicate with the older adult to give instructions and offer companionship.

If you or your loved one is looking for Senior Care Saratoga, CA, please call Familiar Surroundings Home Care.

Santa Clara County:(408) 979-9990

San Mateo County:(650) 353-9777

Santa Cruz County:(831) 480-3990





Laura Wentling

Laura has been involved in the home care industry for more than 20 years. She knows all the aspects of the business and what it takes to provide excellent customer service. Her ability to focus on clients and personal attendants on an individual basis makes her an outstanding leader. Marinating a standard of professionalism and quality with her administrative staff and personal attendants through direct interaction, is a goal which Laura strives to meet daily. Laura is a "hands on" partner and is always available to meet with both our clients and personal attendants when needed.
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