Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: SN logo

 

The Juggling Caregiver

By Claudia R Warner

 

Goodbye Winter!????

Hello Aphasia Group

 

Winter just won’t leave. March has been a really, really long month. It snowed—for days at a time. Then the wind had its turn. The only positive thing I can say about the situation is that we didn’t spend much money on gas---we didn’t have our usual outings!

 

To top it all off, I had computer problems and then our Internet Provider was down for several days. Yep, the timing was lousy and cabin fever set in. Our dogs soon dispelled that. They sensed that we weren’t thrilled with the weather and confinement; so did their best to entertain us. Chloe and Maggie provided a lot of chuckles during the month. They both are such little “hams” and our laughter encouraged them to perform more antics. We all did survive and are more than ready for spring.

 

April will bring warm rains, tax deadlines, and garden planning. We both are looking forward to being outdoors—even mowing and weeding sound good to me! We have an older golf cart and Wes really enjoys getting around the acreage in it. He can sit comfortably in the shade and supervise my tasks. It also allows him to get near the pond and provides a quick way to visit the neighbors in our development. This has been one of the best “investments” we got for him. We use it on our daily treks to the mailbox—a way of making sure he gets some fresh air.

 

Last fall I told Wes that we wouldn’t be doing much planting of trees and bushes this spring. That’s a good idea, but it didn’t stick! Our property lines were marked last fall and we have more land than I thought. It is just begging to have some trees. So—somehow, 10 trees have been ordered. Several bushes snuck into the shopping cart and there is a list of bedding plants to buy locally. Wes enjoys watching birds and we’ve had good luck with the couple of feeders that we have. So, it is time to plant a few shrubs and flowers in a “bird garden”. Wes just laughs and shakes his head whenever a plant/seed catalog arrives.

 

The ideas sound great. But reality has reared its ugly head and I now realize how much work needs to be done. Numerous holes must be dug for the trees. Several bushes will also need holes, but not as large as the trees. The wildflowers need sowing; plants will need planting, etc. And during all of this, the lawn will have to be mowed and weeds pulled. Oh, and some tilling must be done for the vegetable garden. Whew! There aren’t enough hours— or energy to get this done. But, I juggle and juggle and somehow things fall into place.

 

Wes’ aphasia group has a new location and name! We’ve moved to a more accessible place and have added some new members to the “Friends of Aphasia, etc.” group. Unfortunately scheduling of the room allows us to meet only once a month. Adults with different types of speech problems have been attending, much to our delight. The format is basically the same as before—but more fun with so many people! This is purely a social group and the interaction is fun to see. The first half hour is spent either “chatting” or playing cards. Then everyone moves to the activity area and more fun begins! Members are given a homework assignment for each meeting. This usually is something that involves various modes of communication. For example, one assignment was to bring something that you are proud of and tell the group about it. Wes chose his avocado plant, showing the group a photo of it. He also took a couple of the seeds to show everyone. Through drawing a bit and miming, he revealed how he started the seed, how long it took to grow, and that the avocado fruit is really good it eat. Unfortunately, this tree most likely won’t produce anything.

 

After the homework activity is done it is time for a game. Often the group is divided into 2 teams and the competition is on! Much conferring is done amongst the team members until they reach a consensus for the answer. One of their favorite games is trivia. Questions are shown on a large screen and an erasable board is used for keeping score.

 

And, of course, there are homemade cookies! They are a hit with everyone.

Three professional Speech Pathologists usually plan the program and interact with the attendees. As for the caregivers—well, we visit with each other and enjoy having some “down time” from our duties.

 

I wish everyone could have a group such as ours! It does help improve thinking and speech skills in a fun setting. When given a written survey about the program, everyone indicated that what they liked best was knowing others who had speech problems.

 

Kudos to the Speech Pathologists who make this group possible!

 

A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker. ~Author Unknown

 

 

 

Copyright @April 2013

The Stroke Network, Inc.

P.O. Box 492 Abingdon, Maryland 21009

All rights reserved.