Living well with aphasia : spousal involvement as an integral component in stroke recovery
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Stroke has the ability to chronically alter both a person’s understanding and or use of language. Aphasia is a term that represents the loss or impairment of language function as a consequence of brain damage caused by a stroke and current data reveal that at least 25% of all strokes result in aphasia. Spouses often play a pivotal role in a stroke patient’s journey towards recovery. For this reason, there is a dire need for increased knowledge regarding spousal psychosocial welfare and increased insight into the experiences of these individual’s altered life situations. This paper considers aphasia, by nature of its deficits, a family disorder. Additionally, the contents of this paper explore the significance of caregiver coping strategies and ongoing caregiver involvement in recovery as a mechanism towards increased well being. Evidence to confirm the effects of stroke on spouses, as well as to support involvement of spouses in speech-language treatment to facilitate living well with aphasia, was obtained through primary and secondary research. Primary research was compiled through a telephone interview with the spouse of a 62-year-old male with aphasia while secondary research was conducted through an extensive literature search from 2000 to 2011.