Susan’s partner, Bob, was very discouraged since the two years after his stroke. He discovered in his 4 weeks that he made progress with reading and speaking, which helped motivate him. Susan also loved the time by herself to recharge every day.
As time was going on, Bob was getting very stuck. It’s been six months, it’s been a year, it’s been a year and a half, it’s been two years. And it got to where it has gone over two years, getting close to two and a half, and it seemed like he had gotten to a point in his inner struggle, with “Will I ever get better?”, and he tended to say things like “I can’t talk, I can’t walk”. And as much as my positivist coaching wanted him to reframe that and say “I can talk”, and point out when he did have a sentence or vocabulary. He tended to drift back into his glass half empty (state).
So, in desperation, I kept looking and looking and I kept coming across The Aphasia Center. And lo and behold, we live in south Florida and The Aphasia Center was within a couple of hours drive, which fit our needs perfectly, because Bob wasn’t willing to get on a plane at that point.
So we called and we started making plans, and we had to wait for a reservation, and he was actually impatient and wanted to do this. And he got upset when we had to wait a number of months because there were no openings.
What I came to realize was one of the unique qualities of The Aphasia Center is that they only take a couple of people, so it can be individualized and create a tight community with the therapists and the other people attending.
So we decided to do it, and we waited until after the holidays and the hurricane. And there wasn’t the room we needed, with certain requirements. When we had the space and we made the commitment it just felt like it was the right thing. We came here, and
I think Bob was a little tentative the first week, not sure what to expect, have a lot of perfectionists judgments. And it took some time for him to settle in. Now that we are coming to the end of our four weeks, it seems like he is very comfortable here.
The most important thing is that he sees that he is making progress. I think he had great expectations, and he’s had to become more realistic, but he really sees the progress, that’s he’s able to read better, to speak more clearly, create some
sentence structure, but there’s a lot he still has to work on. So I’m really happy that there’s a program that we can continue online with the therapists here so we can get ongoing support and training.
So in the end it’s been a really good experience, and I have to say the housing is perfect. It’s right by the water. As a caregiver it allows me to get up early, or at sunset, go for a walk and kind of breathe through my day and release any tension that might have come up. So it’s worked out really well for us.
I just think that he has gained some skills that will be long lasting.