It was recently announced that former Monty Python member Terry Jones was suffering from Primary Progressive Aphasia, a syndrome which is making it more difficult for him to communicate and form sentences. This sad condition is one that strikes people across the world every year, but it is one that isn't very well known. Understanding this condition, and how you can help people work through it, is crucial should anyone you love develop it.
Understanding This Condition And Its Impact
The announcement of Jones' condition had to be done by a spokesperson, as he can no longer speak in a coherent fashion. Primary Progressive Aphasia attacks the language area of the brain and gets progressively worse over time. It can impact those who have suffered from a stroke or other brain damage, but is commonly associated with Alzheimer's disease.
The problem doesn't immediately begin with a person being unable to speak. In Jones' case, it started out with difficulty finding proper words and remembering how to form sentences. Over time, this disease will progress and rob a person of the ability to speak.
The frustrating thing about this disease is that their intelligence is often still intact, trapping them in their mind. However, it is possible to find ways to communicate through this condition, though it will take a lot of practice and patience.
How To Encourage Communication Methods
Although Jones is suffering from a form of dementia, he is still capable of communicating to others using a variety of techniques. Often, those with Primary Progressive Aphasia can use gestures, sign language, and even written language to communicate. Encouraging them in these efforts is important, as it helps exercise these damaged areas and improve their memory.
As this disease progresses, it is important to simplify communication in order to make it more possible. For example, you could use keywords that you know your loved ones understand and use and simplify your sentence structures so that they don't have to consider so many words.
It may be necessary to create simple visual identifiers, such as flash cards, in order to communicate. Your loved one can then use these cards to indicate things they want to you. It may be frustrating to have to treat your loved one in this manner, but it can give them hope for a life that is as happy as possible.
Although this disease may signal a sad end to Jones' lengthy career, it doesn't have to signify the end of a meaningful life. Through skilled and patient care, he can remain a happy and healthy person for as long as possible. By following these steps, you can help anyone you know who has this problem improve their language memory, even if only temporarily, and improve their quality of life.
For more information, contact an expert in memory care.