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Thread: ???s re: Stroke

  1. #1

    Question ???s re: Stroke

    Early this a.m. my Grandmother had a stroke as confirmed by a scan and e.r. doc. The damage has her eye dropping and she's lost speech. She tries to talk and it's garbled or she manages one word and it doesn't make sense. She's very frustrated, confused, scared.

    She's being referred to a neurologist, is still in the hospital.

    What questions should we ask of the neuro? Speech therapy has already been mentioned, but beyond that, what else?

    I cannot imagine the frustration of wanting to communicate and not having the words. I've already thought of making a poster with pixtures/symbols for basic needs on it so she can communicate. She knows who we are, doesn't appear to have further memory deficits, but cannot speak.

    She already had Alzheimer's Disease, uses a wheelchair as she broke her hip in a fall over a year ago. She resides in a nursing home, will be 90 this year.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Senior Member cali's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    where everyone knows your name
    i'm sorry to hear this about your grandma mem *hug*

    such a horrible thing to have happen

    is she able to write to communicate? i was in the hospital with a kid who couldn't speak and that's what he did.
    Never take life seriously, nobody gets out alive anyway

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  3. #3
    Sorry to hear about her Mem, will keep her in my prayers.

  4. #4
    I'm so sorry to hear that. How advanced is her Alzheimer? How is her health otherwise? The Speech department should be able to come up with ways for her to communicate. Make sure she has a way she can call the nurses - maybe a special call pad?

    She may qualify for inpatient rehab, depending on her other medical conditions. It's the same intensive program that SCI folks go through, with more emphasis on cognitive/speech if they need it.

    Remember too, she's in the 'acute' phase, just as in SCI; she may regain some of those deficits she has right now, at least partially.

    Gramma's are such special people. Hugs to you and thoughts your way.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Somewhere in the Rocky Mountains
    So sorry ME. I think a sign system might work. Hopefully she may regain her ability. My grandfather had an episode like that but his memory was affected much worse....

    Hope she improves soon....((((hugs)))
    T12-L2; Burst fracture L1: Incomplete walking with AFO's and cane since 1989

    My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

  6. #6
    Thanks guys.

    Spoke with her by phone a few minutes ago. Mom called and I asked her to hand the phone to Grandmother. When I was sure Grandmother had the phone to her ear, I "chatted" with her. Kept the conversation positive, told her I loved her, was sorry she was in the hospital, but that she could go home tomorrow.

    She managed to say, "Love yo" (yo instead of you), which Mom says is the most speech Grandmother has managed. Grandmother's speech was garbled, so I allowed pauses for brief replies if she could or wanted. When she cannot find words, she says, "Hmmmmmmmm ..."

    I've always been able to make Grandmother smile and laugh, so gave it a go. Grandmother laughed at my funny. I'd been pretty sure she would. She's still in there, just can't find the words to get out.

    She returns to the nursing home tomorrow after seeing the neurologist. She'll start speech therapy there.

    As for her Alzheimer's, it's pretty advanced, Marmalady. She repeats simple questions (re:time, day, date), loses things, doesn't know what some common items are at times, doesn't know when she has last seen anyone, would forget to eat were it not for regular meals brought to her, encouragement to eat, hallucinates at times. The hallucinations are a recent twist of Alzheimer's.

    She still knows who we are, but not where she is. She thinks she has an apartment, has no idea she lives in a nursing home even when there. She can no longer toilet, but usually knows after she urinates or defecates.

    Other than breaking her hip and this stroke, her physical health is excellent. She's trim, doesn't drink or smoke, looks decades younger than she is.

    Still shocked this happened to her. She's on meds to decrease her odds of getting a stroke, yet it still happened.

  7. #7
    Banned adi chicago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    near dracula castle
    sorry to hear le father had a stroke [66 years old],after the stroke he was ok [ab]for one more year .........after one year he had an heart attack no one could saved him.i miss my dad so much ,was happened 10 years ago.thanks god because he did not have to suffer and to see me in a wheelchair.i could not be present at his furnerals [my twin brother as well]we were working on the cruise ships at that time.a helicopter took me from the ship to the first airport.i arrived in romania too late .my dad was buried.over 1000 people were present to his furnerals and i could not .this thing still makes me sad and mad.
    • Dum spiro, spero.
      • Translation: "As long as I breathe, I hope."

  8. #8
    Unfortunately it is highly unlikely she would qualify for an acute stroke rehabilitation program between her age, her Alzheimer's and the fact that there is no discharge goal other than nursing home.

    Work with the speech pathologist. Some people with aphasia can recognize written language, some cannot. Most cannot write. Some can understand symbolic language (pictures or gestures), some cannot. It is important that the speech pathologist evaluate this and give you all guidelines for working with her to improve both communication and decrease her frustration.

    Try singing with her. Musical ability and associated language is located in a different part of the brain than is speech. Often fairly severe aphasic patients can sing, and often really enjoy it. Find songs she remembers from her youth that you can join in on. Ask the speech pathologist about this.

    Most of all, just be there for her. It is great that she still recognizes people, and I am sure this is meaningful to her. Be sure she is getting the best care, and keep after the staff at the nursing home to use the techniques suggested by the SP.

    Also, be sure that the SP evaluates her swallow (if she has not already had a swallow study). Dysphagia is very common after a stroke, and is often under-diagnosed. If not detected, it can lead to aspiration pneumonia, which can be fatal in someone her age.

    Thanks for being there for her. It sounds like your call was meaningful to you....and her.


  9. #9
    She may well improve in time, Mem. My dad (aged 96) had a stroke last November; he could not walk or speak, had poor right side control. As KLD alluded to, eating and especially drinking were very diffficult, leading to a lot of choking. His mind and memory were seemingly unaffected. His speech is now mostly understandable, albeit very soft; he walks a little and now can feed himself well and use the commode. Depression and frustration over not being able to read seem to be the worst effects.
    It's nice that your grandmother can still laugh.
    - Richard

  10. #10
    Sorry to hear of this Mem. Hope she gets better soon.

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