Stroke Training and Awareness Resources (STARs)

Knowledge, skills and benefits


Stroke may cause problems with communication – speech may be slurred and difficult to follow, and/or the words may become jumbled and not make sense. Even though the individual’s speech may not be understandable, it does not necessarily mean the individual is confused or muddled. Individuals may not be able to understand speech or writing. Staff should be aware that some individuals with severe communication problems, who cannot consent, even with the help of a Speech and Language Therapist, to basic healthcare procedures, may need to receive care under a Certificate of Incapacity according to the Adults with Incapacity Act Scotland*.


To know how to seek information and advice about an individual’s specific communication needs and preferences. Staff should have basic skills to help them communicate with individuals with communication problems. These might include: speaking slowly and clearly, use of gesture, and knowing how to check on understanding. Staff should also be able to support the use of other means of communicating such as picture and word boards or drawing. They should be able to check that if the individual uses a hearing aid this is functioning properly.

Benefits to the individual

Individuals will be able to maximise their opportunities to communicate with staff and thus make their needs and wishes known. This is likely to benefit the individual both physically and emotionally.

*Learners in England and Wales should refer to The Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Page last reviewed: 24 Jan 2020