When my friend Ginger had a stroke, we needed to find creative ways to visit with one another because she had limited conversational ability. Ginger’s daughter Kristin gave us an excellent “tip sheet” for visiting Ginger, which was so helpful in helping us communicate. Kristin also provided us with a list of activity ideas for stroke survivors.
I was very grateful for this list because it gave me something positive and productive to focus on with Ginger during our visits. With Ginger’s permission, I have reproduced Kristin’s list. Perhaps you can use one of these activity ideas if you are visiting with a person who has had a stroke.
Activity Ideas for Visiting with Ginger
- Read her a Bible study or Bible passage. Before the stroke, she read from about six studies a day. Let her follow along as you read aloud.
- Read her a story from Guideposts, Mysterious Ways Magazine, Reader’s Digest, or Prevention Magazine.
- Go for a walk. Keep it short and don’t push her to go too fast.
- Go to the mailbox to get the mail (after 2pm.)
- Play a game such as Uno, Connect 4, Rummikub, or Boggle (stored by the TV next to the kitchen table.) She will need help, so look over her shoulder and suggest which tile/card/letter she might want to try.
- Use Bananagrams – give Ginger letters to spell a pre-determined word, for example, give her the letters B, D and E, and ask her to spell the word “BED”. If it’s easy, add an extra letter and tell her to leave one letter out.
- Do a puzzle. Make suggestions, but let her place the pieces.
- Do word searches.
- Spread Uno cards out on a table. Have her pick out all the 1’s, then all the 2’s, etc. This helps with direction-following, visual scanning, and more.
- Sing a hymn from the hymnbook. Music draws from a different part of the brain than regular speech, so it might help Ginger find her words.
- Color with the colored pencils we have set out.
- Work in her workbook. She likes to do the workbooks, but many of the exercises require your assistance.
So there you have it: 12 ideas for how to be a caring friend to someone who has had a stroke. Thank you Kristin, for this wonderful list of activity ideas!
May you be inspired to care well for someone today.