Tips for Communicating with a Loved One Who Has Suffered a Stroke


Communication difficulties are common after a stroke. When communication abilities have been diminished by stroke, the condition is called aphasia. Aphasia can impact both speech and comprehension. At Las Vegas’ Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center , our stroke center can help with rehabilitation services to improve aphasia, but it’s also useful for stroke survivors and their loved ones to learn new communication techniques. If someone you love has suffered a stroke, here are some ways you can make communicating with him or her a little easier.

Get Your Loved One’s Attention

Avoid starting conversations when you’re out of your loved one’s view. Sit in front of him or her and make eye contract before you start talking, so you know you have his or her full attention. It can also help to minimize background noise as much as possible. Turn off TVs and radios and try to have conversations away from other people, whose own conversations could be distractions.

Avoid “Talking Down”

Your loved one may need you to simplify your speech, but don’t talk down to him or her. There is no need to use “baby talk.” Stick with adult words, but speak a little slower than normal, and try to use one idea per sentence. Ask yes or no questions that are easy for your loved one to answer. Allow him or her time to gather his or her thoughts to respond to you, and avoid the urge to finish sentences.

Use Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication is a very useful tool for stroke survivors. Communicate how you’re feeling by using facial expressions and gestures. When speech isn’t possible, encourage your loved one to communicate with writing and drawings, and you can do the same.

The Nevada Neurosciences Institute at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center is a Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center. Fast stroke treatment begins with in our emergency room, and we continue to support recovery with our rehabilitation services. If you or someone you love is experiencing the symptoms of a stroke, seek urgent medical care. Learn more about all of our hospital services by calling (702) 233-5300. 

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