According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately one million people in the U.S. currently live with aphasia, a disorder that affects the ability to communicate. Seniors are at especially high risk for developing this condition. However, they can reduce their risk of aphasia by taking precautions to prevent other serious conditions. Here are four major causes of aphasia in seniors and how to reduce the risk in each case.
1. Acute Brain Injuries
Almost any accident that affects the frontal lobe of the brain can impact the ability to speak and understand words. Older adults tend to have much higher rates of head injuries because of limited balance and mobility. Providing seniors with the proper mobility devices, such as walkers or canes, can drastically reduce their risk of falling and hitting their heads.
Aphasia is one of the many health issues your loved one may be facing. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional homecare services. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
2. Alzheimer’s Disease
Aphasia is often one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and doctors have come to realize these two conditions are actually quite similar. When brain cells begin to die because of a dementia-related disorder, there’s a very good chance the senior will eventually develop some form of aphasia. There’s currently no cure for either of these conditions, but an early diagnosis and comprehensive treatment program can delay some of the most severe side effects for many years.
Strokes are the most common cause of aphasia, and more than 30 percent of all stroke survivors will eventually develop some form of this condition. In many hospitals, seniors are immediately screened for aphasia within just a few days of having a stroke. A language therapist administers these tests and then guides the senior through various exercises, such as reading and writing passages, holding a conversation, naming items, and following complex directions.
In addition to helping your parent work with a language therapist, you can also hire a dedicated caregiver for your loved one. When researching agencies that provide at-home care, Kennebunk, ME, families are usually looking for flexible care plans, compassionate and highly trained caregivers, and 24/7 availability. Whether you need respite care to take a break from your caregiving duties or your senior loved one needs around-the-clock assistance at home, you can rely on Align Home Care.
4. Brain Infections
Though most cases of aphasia aren’t caused by brain infections, seniors who are diagnosed with meningitis or another similar disease must be screened for speech and comprehension impediments. The vast majority of these diseases are caused by bacterial infections that enter the bloodstream and eventually make their way to the brain. Seniors who have noticed any signs of a bacterial infection should immediately head to the emergency room so they can receive medication.
Hiring professional caregivers is a good way to help seniors manage the symptoms of serious health issues. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Kennebunk, ME, Align Home Care is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break. To learn more about our premier in-home care plans, call us at (207) 835-3490 today.