Working with Aphasia in Care Settings
When working in care, it is inevitable that you will come across a variety of conditions under the umbrella of Dementia. This varying condition affects around 850,000 people in the UK, with many utilising care services. As Dementia Trainers, we explore Aphasia meaning and provide tips on how your team can understand and show empathy towards those with the condition. Not only will these tips give new insight to your care staff, but they will open a discussion on other avenues of communication and new ways of advocating for Dementia.
What is Aphasia?
For those working in care, many have witnessed people living with Dementia who are experiencing word-finding difficulty and/or understanding what is being communicated. APHASIA! Yes, you are right.
Aphasia is a complex condition associated with Dementia and will often affect a person’s ability to express the spoken word, write, read, and their ability to comprehend numbers and spoken language. This can become very frustrating for the person with Aphasia and also for the people trying to communicate with them, especially when trying to distinguish their needs. Aphasia affects more than 350,000 people in the UK and has a different impact on each person because no two people will display exactly the same difficulties so it is important to comprehend the condition.
How can you ensure your staff team can empathise with this?
At Care Match UK, we offer on-site Dementia Interpreter training which not only provides a real insight into the varying conditions of Dementia by stripping senses and means of traditional communication but it also provides the tools on how best to interpret their needs and ultimately how to best support the person with Dementia. But, for now, you can try this simple activity with your team:
- Place yourself in the centre of the room, preferably on a chair of some sort.
- Ask members of your team to give you directions to stand up – bearing in mind of course – you are living with Dementia and have Aphasia.
- Inform your team that they cannot give you instructions with words containing the letter N.
- Now, listen to the delay in response times.
- Look at the difficulty your team have with this task:
- Is the communication clear and concise or is it jumbled?
- Are these words missing from their sentences?
- Are they frustrated?
- Open up a discussion about the outcome of this activity and how you could support those with Aphasia moving forward.
Once this activity has been completed, your team will be able to empathise with Aphasia and could use this experience to apply new ways of working! Remember, we offer a variety of training that can provide your team with valuable tools for working in care. Check it out!
We would love to hear about how your team got on with this task, so comment below how your team responded!