Quick Facts About Aphasia

Aphasia: When you can't find the words...

What is aphasia, who does it affect, and why is it so frustrating and isolating? Is it prevalent in Singapore? How does a person with aphasia recover? 
 
Here are 10 basic facts about the condition and what’s essential in the recovery process:

  • Aphasia is a language disorder that occurs after a brain injury.
  • The most common cause of brain injury is stroke. Other causes include head trauma or brain tumour.
  • Persons with aphasia (PWA) may have difficulty speaking, understanding others, writing and reading. Some also has difficulty with numbers.
  • Aphasia does not affect intellect.
  • Aphasia affects every individual differently.
  • Aphasia can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, nationality or profession.
  • 1/3 of all stroke survivors suffer from aphasia.
  • Over 7,700 adults suffer from stroke every year in Singapore.1
  • It is estimated that more than 2,500 individuals are diagnosed with aphasia in Singapore annually.
  • 93% of PWA suffer from psychological distress2 and depression as a result of loss of independence and social isolation within the first 6 months of their stroke. 
  • Aphasia has greater negative impact on a person’s quality of life compared to cancer or dementia.3
  • There is no cure for aphasia but speech therapy can aid a person’s recovery.
  • Having a network of social support including family, friends and colleagues who are encouraging and understanding is vital to the healing process.
  • Use gestures, writing or drawing to support conversation with a PWA.
  • Be patient when communicating with someone with aphasia.

References:

  1. According to the Singapore Stroke Registry (2017).
  2. Hilari, K., Northcott, S., Roy, P., Marshall, J., Wiggins, R. D., Chataway, J. and Ames, D. (2010). Psychological distress after stroke and aphasia: the first six months. Clinical Rehabilitation, 24(2), pp. 181-190.
  3. Lam, J.M.C & Wodchis, W.P. (2010) The relationship of 60 disease diagnoses and 15 conditions to preference-based health related quality of life in Ontario hospital based long-term care residents. Medical Care, 48, 380-387.
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Aphasia SG

Aphasia SG is a not-for-profit organisation supporting persons with aphasia and their caregivers. It is run by a team of dedicated speech therapist volunteers.

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