For Caregivers

Caregivers play an important role in the recovery process. While clients are hard at work in therapy, caregivers are also learning how to adjust to a new way of life. The UMAP Care Partner Education series helps caregivers, family, and friends sort through the information and emotions related to aphasia.

This page is to provide an overview of what care partners have access to during a U-M Aphasia Program session.  We hope to provide general caregiver resources for before and after the program as well. If you have any questions about the resources or the care partner programs, please contact us at (734) 764-8440.

“One of the most important aspects of caregiving is educating yourself on what aphasia is and how we can best communicate with our loved ones.”
UMAP Client Care Partner

Calling All Care Partners! Join the Conversation

UMAP has set up two groups on Facebook to help facilitate conversation and connection. We have one for everyone including clients and care partners, called the Aphasia Conversation. We have another that is set aside for care partners only (named Aphasia Care Partner Group), so you can have a space to discuss triumphs, personal struggles, and frustrations as needed. Both groups are set to private, so you will need to request access.

Here's how: send an email to ucll@umich.edu stating which group you'd like to join and including your Facebook email address (the one you use to log-in to FB). We will send you an invitation.

UMAP Caregiver Education and Support

Caregiver Education

U-M Aphasia Program clinicians conduct educational workshops for care partners over the course of each session. They cover such topics as:

  • Why intensive therapy?
  • Creating your intensive therapy schedule back home.
  • What is aphasia?
  • Using technology to aid communication.
  • Supportive conversation techniques.
  • Introduction to the caregiver resource library.
  • Hands-on communication practices.
  • The importance of self-care for caregivers.

Caregivers are encouraged to attend designated therapy sessions to learn how to best communicate with the client. Your clinical team can talk to you about which sessions might be best.

Additionally, if care partners are interested in connecting with other aphasia caregivers or in exploring social opportunities, please let us know. We can work with each session's care partner group to facilitate fun and recreational activities.

"I just didn't realize how much I would get out of the program as a caretaker.

It's not only your loved one who will benefit by growing their ability to speak, but you will also benefit greatly from the support system at UMAP.

It's a win-win!"

UMAP Client Care Partner, Sept. 2018

Caregiver Group Support

We also offer a series of group meetings for care partners of UMAP participants during each session. By "care partners" we mean spouses and partners, parents, children, other family members, friends, professional care providers or aides — and anyone else who is present in support of a UMAP participant.

The purpose of these meetings is to provide information, share resources and strategies, and to ask questions, share concerns, and discuss challenges as well as triumphs, with both UMAP clinicians and other care partners.

Topics of discussion include but are not limited to:

  • Communication
    • Verbal versus non-verbal
    • Multimodal communication tools and strategies
    • Supported conversation techniques to facilitate overall communication success and reduce frustration
  • Aphasia
    • What can cause aphasia?
    • Which aspects of language can be impacted by aphasia?
    • How is aphasia type determined?
    • What kinds of evidence-based therapy approaches are used at UMAP to treat aphasia?
    • How is aphasia different from motor speech disorders like apraxia and dysarthria?
  • Co-occurring difficulties that can impact treatment and recovery, including:
    • Physical limitations
    • Hearing impairment
    • Visual deficit
    • Difficulties with cognition (memory, attention, problem-solving, etc.)
    • Fatigue and chronic pain
    • Mood and emotions
  • Speech-language therapy
    • General process
    • Restorative versus compensatory treatment goals
    • How do we track progress?
    • How do we promote generalization and carry-over of skills to daily life?
    • Benefits of intensive therapy
    • Teletherapy options
  • Common caregiver concerns
    • Insurance coverage
    • Related rehab services (OT, PT, Music Therapy)
    • Medications
    • Returning to driving
    • Returning to work
    • Emergency situations (medical alert buttons, aphasia cards, etc.)
    • Traveling with aphasia
    • The impact aphasia can have on daily life
  • Aphasia resources
    • Suggestions for apps, websites, online support networks, workbooks, journal articles, magazines, books, films
    • Recommendations for continued therapy services or home programs
  • Care partner experiences
    • Stress, fatigue, grief, burn-out
    • Self-care, respite, stress management and coping strategies
  • Aphasia advocacy

Let's Talk

Do you have questions about our care partner programs or the U-M Aphasia Program in general? Let's talk. Fill out this form or call us during regular business hours at (734) 764-8440 and we will be in touch with your shortly:

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