by Victoria Brewster, MSW
10 Important Questions to Keep in Mind when Interacting with or Interviewing One who has Suffered a Stroke:
1- Have you had my eyes and ears checked to make sure you know what I can see and hear?
2- Can I discriminate colour?
3- Do I perceive three dimensions?
4- Do I have any sense of time?
5- Can I identify all my body parts as mine?
6- Can I discriminate a voice from the background noise?
7- Can I access food? Do I have the strength and dexterity to feed myself?
8- Am I comfortable? Am I warm? Or thirsty? Or in pain? Or cold?
9- Am I oversensitive to sensory stimulation (light, sound)?
10- Do I now what socks and shoes are?
Taken from Appendix A, 10 Assessment Questions- ‘My Stroke of Insight’
by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD
Common Symptoms of Dementia: Memory loss is usually the earliest and most noticeable symptom. Other symptoms of dementia are:
■ Having difficulty recalling recent events.
■ Not recognizing familiar people and places.
■ Having trouble finding the right words to express thoughts or name objects.
■ Having difficulty performing calculations.
■ Having problems planning and carrying out tasks, such as balancing a checkbook, following a recipe, or writing a letter.
■ Having trouble exercising judgment, such as knowing what to do in an emergency.
■ Having difficulty controlling moods or behaviors. Depression is common, and agitation or aggression may occur.
■ Not keeping up personal care such as grooming or bathing.
Possible Warning Signs of Dementia:
■ Learning and retaining new information (forgetting recent events and appointments or frequently misplacing objects)
■ Handling complex tasks, like balancing a checkbook
■ Knowing what to do when problems come up (such as knowing what to do if the bathroom is flooded) and using good judgment (for example, showing a new disregard for the rules of social conduct and doing or saying things that are inappropriate)
■ Finding his or her way around familiar places, driving to and from places he or she knows well (for example, getting lost when walking or driving from the house to the store a few blocks away)
■ Finding the right words to say what he or she wants to say
■ Understanding and responding to what he or she sees and hears
■ Acting more irritable or suspicious than usual, or withdrawing from conversation and activity
Speak to a medical professional about any of the above possible symptoms or warning signs if you notice or have concerns about yourself, a family member or friend.