Impact of communication difficulties on the carer

So far we have considered the impact of communication difficulties on Douglas; now let’s consider how they have affected Catriona …

It is clear that Douglas was not aware of the impact that his communication difficulties were having on Catriona. One of the facilitators for living successfully with communication difficulties is a strong relationship and an ability to work together to address the challenges. It will be helpful for Douglas and Catriona to further explore these different feelings.

Recognising the impact on carers and providing appropriate support is a key part of the therapeutic intervention that needs to be considered by the health professions involved.


How do you think Catriona is coping with you having a communication difficulty?

It doesn’t affect her. It’s my problem. (Douglas)
I worry about him. (Catriona)

What do you think is the hardest thing for her since the onset of your communication difficulties?

Paying the bills. (Douglas)
Not socialising with friends as much. (Catriona)

How do you think your relationship has changed since the onset of your communication difficulty?

I’m quite overprotective. (Catriona)
Catriona feels embarrassed that I sound drunk. (Douglas)

What do you think would help Catriona the most to cope with the changes in your relationship since the stroke?

To be able to access specific carer support. (Catriona)
To spend more time at home relaxing. (Douglas)

What does Catriona feel about the future?

We just need to take a day at a time. (Douglas)
I wonder how we will be able to adjust to the changes. (Catriona)

It is interesting to see that Douglas wasn’t aware of how Catriona was feeling and the degree of impact the communication difficulty was having on her.

It is really important to acknowledge the huge impact that the sudden onset of a communication difficulty can have on the whole family. The family members will commonly undergo emotional, relational and social disruptions. It is important that these are recognised and the appropriate support is given.

Page last reviewed: 01 Apr 2020