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Aphasia Month—Father’s Day & Aphasia 101 Class, June 21, 2020
This is the third Sunday of Aphasia Awareness Month and it is Father’s Day too! It was a quiet day…likely because of Father’s Day or church (or both!). But there were many people still out walking, jogging, biking and talking…lots and lots of talking! And that is a good thing!
Several people had seen my “booth” last Sunday (you might remember my “Aphasia 101 class” in the neighborhood for Aphasia Month in my last post.) They made a point to stop by and chat yesterday…and talk about stroke…either they had it or family members who had a stroke.
Tony had a stroke (likely a TIA) 26 years before when he was 56. He is now 82 years old and doing very well. He told me that his doctors told him that he had to change his lifestyle (diet, exercise, smoking, and drinking) if he wanted to live a long and healthy life. Now he bikes every day (I have seen him biking all the time with a big smile!) and golfing 2-3 times a week!
Another person came by and talked for 15 minutes about his brother who had a terrible stroke in Connecticut about 7 years ago. He had stroke and aphasia and still attends the community stroke & aphasia group as the only social activity that keeps him “going.” The walker was happy to see signs about stroke and aphasia but had never known about aphasia until his brother. He took some info (from the National Aphasia Association) from my table (social distancing, of course) and will send info to him.
It is true…many people in their family have stroke (and some who were described as “couldn’t talk”) but none knew that it was called aphasia. Having a stroke is a terrible thing. The fact that the wider public is nearly completely unaware about aphasia it almost just as terrible!
Sustained community education is the key to aphasia awareness and American Heart and American Stroke Association have the heart, the brain and the muscle to help grow a new educational wing of Aphasia Awareness nationwide as well!
GO AHA/ASA! Tom B.