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Adapting to Neurological Disease

See our Progressive Neurological Disease Home Page for a full list of information about progressive and degenerative neurological disease, and links to information and strategies relating to communication and cognitive functioning.

Adapting your home and improving your communication environment following neurological disease diagnosis


Many of the difficulties that have been mentioned in previous sections will mean making adaptations to your home to help make communication and daily tasks easier:

Use a diary, calendar and lists and get used to checking them several times a day. Write everything you need to remember. Put lists down the side of the page and tick the things off as you do them. Put the diary somewhere obvious so you can see it.

Adapting to neurological disease means having systems for everything – have a filing system for paperwork, use calendars, daily planners, sticky notes, noticeboards, setting alarms on your mobile phone as a reminder for appointments etc

Always put things in the same place – diary, keys etc

A home information centre with a notice board for reminders, bills, keys etc

Those of us who are close to a family member or friend with a neurological illness must be are aware of our own communication skills and adapt them accordingly:

  • Talk face to face – good communication is usually facilitated by facing your communication partner and being at their level
  • Turn off the TV or radio and close the window if its noisy outside
  • Make sure the room is well lit
  • Don’t talk to fast, but not too slowly either
  • If giving a long instruction, break it down into smaller pieces and summarize at the end
  • Be patient, and give the person plenty of time to respond
  • Try and recognize when the person is fatigued and doesn’t want to talk

For more information about communication difficulties, and ideas and strategies to help communication, see our Resources, or for specific fact-sheets about progressive and degenerative neurological diseases and information and strategies for improving communication and cognitive functioning go to the Downloads Section.


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