The situation with COVID-19 is changing quickly. When we set up our last chat, we intended it to be about emergency preparedness. But by the time we held the chat two weeks later, the emergency was already here.
People came with great tips (see below) as well as big feelings. We’re holding another chat on April 22nd on this topic, and we hope that you join us. Please click over to sign up after you finish reading the tips in this post. Do worry — we posted the link again below.
Also, if you missed it, we gave some emergency preparedness advice a few weeks ago specifically for people with aphasia. We also provided details on how to host your own Zoom chat if you want to reconnect with people from your face-to-face support group.
Here are more tips you can learn from people with aphasia as they navigate the pandemic.
The Importance of Routine
Ed pointed out the importance of having a routine. It is too easy to shift your sleeping habits, feel unmotivated, and get depressed from the lack of structure. The answer is to build that structure into your life. List out the things that need to happen daily and build a new routine. Make sure you set your alarm, change into clothes, and eat three meals.
To that end, if you’re looking for a routine, join the NAA’s new project where we’re giving you one aphasia action to take each day. You can start at any point, and you move through the list, doing one activity per day.
If you like an activity, repeat it the next day along with the new activity. By the end of the first week, you should have at least an hour of speech-centered activities to do so you don’t lose the progress you’ve made via speech therapy. This project will continue on for weeks, so please let people know they can join whenever they find it.
Ed promises that routines make you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. And as Bruce added, it will help you remember the day of the week because they’re starting to blend into one another!
Set Up Your Lock Screen
Do you have a smartphone? Ed also told us how to set up emergency information (such as contact numbers or a list of medications) on your lock screen so first responders can access it in the event of an emergency. PC Magazine has a great tutorial on how to add this information to any iPhone or Android phone.
We already told you the importance of having an aphasia card with you every time you leave the house.
Print our card from that post by right-clicking on each image (front and back), printing them out, filling them out with your name, and then laminating them together.
Eric B. talked about the importance of getting up and moving. He set up a small gym in his home, but you don’t need fancy equipment to get in a little exercise. Search the app store for fitness apps, such as 7-minute workout apps or yoga apps.
Water bottles can become weights and countertops can become strength-training equipment. Read more about how you can turn household objects into a gym.
Read and Listen
Many people said they matched up audio books and their written counterparts at the same time. You can slow down the speed on the recording and read the page while someone reads the story aloud.
Another book recommendation was Aphasia Couples Therapy (ACT) — a workbook for couples to have conversations by Larry Boles, Ph.D., CCC.
What’s getting you through this crisis? Make sure you sign up for our chat on April 22nd