My grandmother had a stroke and I'm looking for lists of practical words to put on flashcards for her.
May 16, 2009 11:16 AM   Subscribe

My grandmother had a stroke and I'm looking for lists of practical words to put on flashcards for her.

I'm having a hard time finding vocabulary words she'd actually use. Mostly nouns, but important things like "yes" or "no" too.
posted by hypervenom to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A few ideas.
- hungry
- a bunch of different food she eats
- water
- coffee tea
- pain / meds
- tired
- bathroom / toilet
- book
- music
- TV
- cold
- hot
- window (wants to look out or open)
- Body parts (for issues)
- photos (does she have a photo album to look at?)
- love
- upstairs/downstairs (if appropriate)

You can find flashcards easily on ebay too.
posted by barnone at 11:21 AM on May 16, 2009

Are you talking about cards to help her with recovery (as seen here: Stroke Recovery) or for her to communicate with?
posted by miratime at 11:21 AM on May 16, 2009

Response by poster: Oh sorry, it's to help her recover but she'll probably be using them too.
posted by hypervenom at 11:23 AM on May 16, 2009

Hungry, thirsty, bathroom, tissue, different body parts that could be combined with other cards like "pain" or "itch," etc., basically what barnone was talking about as far as practical needs. Also the names of people she normally interacts with might help.

The article I linked mentions not just words but basic logic/math, which might be some good mental calisthenics, but they recommended starting small--letters, then one-syllable words, then short phrases, and so on.
posted by miratime at 11:26 AM on May 16, 2009

Also, what about maybe adding pictures to the cards? Seems like it might help her to connect with a word or a picture.
posted by miratime at 11:28 AM on May 16, 2009

Response by poster: !!! NEVERMIND, it's the opposite. She is going to use them to communicate.

Yeah, I'm adding pictures, but the only problem was thinking of enough words to use.
posted by hypervenom at 11:38 AM on May 16, 2009

Somewhat related. When my mother's boyfriend had extension mouth surgery due to cancer, I bought him a water pistol and filled it with water and brought it to the hospital. My sister's smart-aleck boyfriend was the first to get it.

Would she appreciate a water pistol?
posted by andreap at 1:29 PM on May 16, 2009

Sorry; extensive not extension.
posted by andreap at 1:30 PM on May 16, 2009

I know you're looking for words, but a web search for Communication Symbols might give you the vocab you're looking for. For example, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and Bliss are picture/symbol communications systems which are used in the same way as you're looking to use flash cards.

BoardMaker is the name of a software program to make these and so you might be able to search for this and get the word lists (or even use boardmaker). You might find that pictures with the word printed on it may be easier for her to use.

Think about the various functions you'll need words for and who she's talking with: some listed above, but also consider:
emotion words (angry, sad, happy, etc.)
verbs (go, go get, need, want, don't want, help, sit up, lie down)
places (outside, names of other rooms/locations, chair, bed)
people (family, medical/therapy staff, minister/clergy)
needs (biological, social)
body parts or a body diagram to point
scheduling (times, next, after, before, a clock with moveable hands?)
medical (pain, itchy, medication, dizzy, nauseous, sick)
body states (hungry, sleepy, bored, thirsty, uncomfortable)
food types
posted by kch at 2:34 PM on May 16, 2009

Along with all of this, I think the word "more" and "less" would be useful too (combine with one of the nouns and you can request 'more apple' to ask for more food, or 'more pain' to convey very important information, or you can say "less cold" to ask someone to turn up the heat, etc.).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:58 PM on May 16, 2009

I want
thank you
food terms (whatever matches her eating habits)
Names of people (her close family and friends)

Overall though: not too many flashcards, and a way to keep them organized (maybe by topic?). If it takes too long for her to find the right card, she won't use them.

When my grandmother had a stroke, the hospital gave her a board with a bunch of terms on one board - it was easier and faster to point than to shuffle through a deck.
posted by Kololo at 3:06 PM on May 16, 2009

When my 72 year-old grannie was in the hospital after a stroke, she'd love a hug, her hair brushed, nails done and her hand held. Perhaps there's something along those lines you could add to the more functional/necesary ones?
posted by x46 at 3:06 PM on May 16, 2009

First word my cousin taught my grandmother when she had a stroke: "beer." Not that she really used the word in everyday language much, but she loved being the center of attention, earning laughs from everyone when they'd ask, "How are you today, Helen?" and she'd respond all proud of herself, "beer!" Maybe find a funny word that will get her a laugh or a smile...? Not trying to make light of your awesome flashcard idea.
posted by orangemiles at 9:47 PM on May 17, 2009

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