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Bruce Willis quit the red carpet after being diagnosed with aphasia. Source: Rich Fury/ Getty Images

Lost for words – the impact of aphasia on older people

Hollywood actor Bruce Willis’ recent announcement to retire from film work due to aphasia has sparked a worldwide discussion about the life-altering effects of living with a neurodegenerative disease.

Over 43 per cent of older people in Australia suffer from aphasia, and Dr Naomi Cocks from the Curtin University School of Allied Health says "the impact that it has on people's lives is huge".

"Most people with aphasia know what they want to say, but they just can't get the words say it.

"And that can be incredibly frustrating, both for the person who has aphasia but also for their family members."

She says that older people with aphasia may struggle to voice their needs and to maintain social relationships.

However, where language is failing, Dr Cocks points out that there are many other ways to communicate.

"I've met some amazing people with aphasia who are incredibly inspirational.

"They can often draw on some really amazing resources to communicate in different ways."

Cocks joined Aged Care Insite in a conversation about aphasia, how it impacts people's lives and how we can explore other ways to get our words across.

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One comment

  1. Thanks for the explenation and also how we could help and understanding the needs of that person.

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