Speech loss

by Caron on March 30, 2017

this image shows my point sheets as I call them. A collection of images relating to everyday needs

Speech loss

For someone who is rarely short of words, the prospect of not being able to effectively communicate would devastate me. Imagine feeling “devastated” and not being able to communicate that? How would someone potentially react? They may cry uncontrollably or they may refuse to get out of bed. Someone may even use the emotional pain to inflict physical pain on others.

Most of us take the ability to speak for granted and it is only following a stroke, brain injury or cognitive illness, such as dementia that we have to find ways to help people who can no longer communicate effectively.

My range of “accidentally innovative” items are free to anyone who will benefit from them. I post all over the world and they are flying into letter boxes like hot cakes. They are the result of one of my social media followers contacting me and asking if I knew of something simple to help with a lady she cared for who could no longer speak.

I am a great one for “re-inventing the wheel” but this time I took my innovation back to basics. There are plenty of image cards/prompts in books and keyring fobs but I put myself in the position of the person who couldn’t speak. I didn’t need any additional frustrations. I didn’t need to have to hunt for the picture I needed when I was bursting for the loo. I wanted the basic images for average everyday needs there in front of me. I didn’t even want people to have to turn the sheet over.

Who would have ever envisaged such an “innovation” as a few carefully selected pictures placed neatly on a sheet using some free software (thank you, Canva) would cause such a storm with regional care home managers printing them off for all care homes in the area. I have posted them to the US and Australia and closer to home.

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Playing about one day and once again in response to a request for a smaller sheet – the originals are A4, I tried the 2 copies per page. Then the 4,6,9 and 12. The 12 looked like gift wrap and I thought nothing of it until I realised they had turned out the size of a credit card. I had some laminate sheets I had bought that were too small to make my dementia assistance cards with and guess what? They were the perfect size to make mini key fob point cards. They may not be amazing, but my attitude is as always if people find them useful then I will make and distribute them. So the “point to” card was created. They sit perfectly comfortably on a lanyard with the dementia assistance card in front.

this image shows the dementia assistance card on a purple lanyard with a micro communication card behind it for people who are unable to speak

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