HELP! stroke victim can't communicate whats a simple no or small cost way to help?

by Steph

I work at an assisted living facility and there is the sweetest man who lives there. I really want to know what this man is trying to say to us, it is a guessing game with him, he tries to gesture. I try asking yes and no questions but i can see its very frustrating for him. me as well.

It makes me sad that he has to live like that. I am pretty sure he is almost all there, maybe the very very first stages of dementia or alzhiemers but he is a very sweet man and I really want to help him.

He has a packet with a few words but not all the words he wants to say. I could add words but I dont think he likes the packet thing.

I know those prompt cards cost only 80 bucks but i am not sure if I want those too many for him to keep track of and sort through.

Has any one tried just a paper with all the letters of the alphabet and had the person spell out what they need to say? does that work???

Help please!

I know there are others out there who are wondering this same thing. Thanks for any info


Note from Anna:

There are a number of products that can help. Here are a couple of suggestions.

What you are looking for is called

There are also very low tech solutions, like large pre-printed communication card sets. These are very convenient as it is all pre-made for you.

Another solution is to create your own images, from your own photos, as well as from pre-designed images.

Any one of these solutions will make a huge difference in your day-to-day lives.

The choice really depends on the degree of technology and convenience you are looking for, as well as cost.

Good luck!

Comments for HELP! stroke victim can't communicate whats a simple no or small cost way to help?

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Correction on Visually Speaking NEW
by: Anonymous

I don't know how old these posts are but I am writing in February, 2019. I followed the suggestion for Visually Speaking on Amazon and found it for $869! Eventually I also found it on "Say It With Symbols"for $16.99:

I hope this helps - they also have many other choices under $20.

Important to Remember Patience
by: Anonymous

Thank you all for so many good ideas. I'd like to add one to keep in the forefront of your mind in helping those who have lost the ability to speak. Put yourself in their shoes. Its just plain FRUSTRATING for them! Be patient when listening. Tell them there's no hurry, you have time.

If you have ever experienced struggling for a word, you probably remembered it after the attention to it was gone.

A person who has previously be able to communicate feels an obligation to retrieve words immediately because of past habits. Be mindful of the frustration they must be experiencing and give them time to calmly figure out their new way.

Visually Speaking - a visual guide for non-verbal patients--it's offered on
by: Anonymous

This product is also offered in Spanish. Try

Best of luck.

Stroke victims can sing
by: Anonymous

I read a comment that asked why someone can't speak but can sing. My mothers speech therapist told us to have my mom sing because it would help her to speak and it did. She explained that singing is on the opposite side of the brain which she damaged

Mom lost speaking ability after stroke
by: Vivian

My mom is 81 years old and had a stroke two years ago. He entire right hand side of her body is motionless and she also lost her voice. Most of the time she is in a wheelchair but her nurse makes her walk a little dragging her right leg and arm. She understands everything we say and gets very frustrated when whe cannot get through to us; she's a fighter! We need to find any kinds of tools, toys, gadgets, that she can use to communicate with us, can you helps us please? It has to be in Spanish as it is the only language she knows. Thanks very, very much!ca

by: Des

My Dad had a stroke and could not put letters together and his gestures would frustrate him and others. I made a blanket full of pictures which could "talk" for him. This way he could point because he could understand me, he just could not tell me. Now I make Tees and blankets, person specific to help anyone who can not physically talk. It brought down stress levels and by being able to be understood, his quality of life improved. I added photographs of family and important people in his life, all on fully washable fabric. I would be delighted to help. I'm not sure how you contact me but I want you to know, his life can be better and you can help him. DES

Morse Code
by: Anonymous

Morse code is easy to learn, Dots and dashes can be distinguished by various short and long expressions such as:
lifting an eyelid, moving a finger, turning the head, waving an arm, noding the head, looking up and down for a short time or a long time.

Visually Speaking - a Visual guide for non-verbal patients
by: Anonymous

Please google Visually Speaking by Evelyn Trimble. This booklet is waterproof and can help tremendously! It costs $14.95 and is currently offered through PHC Publishing. Good luck.

stroke victims
by: Anonymous

first u should determine any communication barriers if any.
eye sight, trace, inability to move limbs etc....
as an example my father fell victim to an bleed stroke and is in a complexed care facility. i feel there is a vision barrier that is not uncommon in stroke victims. most of these stroke victims r not treated nor recognised to have vision problems therefore instead of one barrier there are two now.
one being the fact that the patient cannot see appropriately and the worst part of the second barrier is these people caring for them r the largest barrier. imagine being paid top dollars to do a communication assesment overlook the fact that the patient might have vision prob. then hold cards up with no response and then telling the family "im sorry but your father is none responsive and cannot communicate. the kicker is the communication specialist is the barrier because they overlooked a major issue and have the nearve to say they r specialists in this field only in hamilton st peters center could someone b this low level communication skills yet be paid top dollar to mislead and destroy this one persons chance to recover.

Help for speech impaired Mom
by: gerry

I need help. My mother had a stroke about 5 years ago. She cannot speak, but why is it that she can sing a few songs like a birthday song and some of her church songs. We have tried speech theraphy but due to cost it was been discontinued. Is there any tools that can be use to enable her to communicate. Its hard for her to write too.

by: Anonymous

my mother had a stroke 2 yrs ago, we had no tools. I learned that singing helped we sang simple happy birthday, amazing grace, she didnt know who we were nor could get it out but she could sing. practise flash cards. Say I want... then let them finish sentence. its practise finding what works for each stroke victim. my mother couldnt speak, eat, walk all basic. i worked dilegently. then small soft puzzles. she is up to a 500 piece puzzle but started with 1-10 and abcs..we use humor wen she just cant say wat she wants. keep saying its ok this will pass. we can tey again later. n come back 10 20 min later... only 1 person suggesting @ a time. they get confussed easy. best of luck to all.. my prayer n compassion is with you all

Picture Communication Cards can help for stroke victims
by: Dotty

yMy daughter-in-law had a srroke a few weeks ago and she is seven months pregnant.

I am looking for colorful picture books that have the picture and the word. She can speak, but has trouble remembering the word she wants.

It is so sad. I can't seem to find these kind of books. Can anyone help me?


From the editor:
I am so sorry to hear about your daughter-in-law. I hope that things improve for her quickly.

Communicate with Stroke patient
by: Anonymous

I work in a home for the sisters and one of our residence hasn't spoke for a while due to a stroke, I just started a month ago, the other day I decided to place a piece of paper and pen in front of her. To my amazement she started to write a lot about her life and when I asked her a question yes/no she answered right away. When my back was turned she tapped on her wheelchair, where she had wrote "I want to go back to my room". She had folded the paper and had it close to her chest, as though it meant a lot, which I'm sure it did. So simple!!!I'm hoping they will get her a board she can write on.

The Special Life
by: Anna

Hi Steph. Thanks for asking about communication aids for stroke victims.

There are a number of different augmentative or alternative communication aids available.

Have you considered a Go Talk?

Chances are you'll get the best results by using a combination of tools and applying them for different uses - for instance, a pre-programmed Go Talk to take with him on outings, prompt cards in the assisted living centre, etc.

Hope these ideas are useful for you!

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