Big family gatherings can be happy but difficult events for people with aphasia. This is why we discussed our best tips for enjoying the holidays during our last Aphasia Cafe chat on November 20th.
Actually, we gathered up some great tips last year around this time, turning them into a video.
Many of those tips were echoed during the chat, including communicating with the host beforehand and enjoying aphasia-friendly activities, such as listening to music.
But Carol also kicked off the discussion with a great point: Be patient with yourself. Be patient with friends and family, too. Even though people may know you have aphasia, they need a reminder of how to make communication easy for you. Set up a hand signal so you can indicate with little effort that you need people to slow down or give you a little extra time to find your words.
Mary also gave everyone a great idea: “At the table, we have thank you notes. We all write down one or two things we are thankful for and share them while eating. In this manner, there is no rush to share what we are thankful for.”
Sara also shared something profound from the caregiver perspective: “As a caregiver, I’ve learned it’s important to help my mom to give gifts to her family. I used to think she didn’t need to spend her money giving gifts to family, but she enjoys giving those gifts. Without my help, she can’t communicate with family. I’ve learned to support the traditions that are meaningful to her.”
People were looking forward to many things this holiday season including good food, friends and family, and holiday music.
We’d love to hear YOUR best tips for navigating big family gatherings at the holidays.