Communication device gives stroke victim a voice

Communication device gives stroke victim a voice
9th July 2019 Amanda Bhavnani
Communication device

Following eight strokes in two years, Walter Christopher knows if he answers his phone, his severe speech impediment will make a conversation very difficult. Frustratingly, this sometimes results in the caller hanging up.

Since Kelly Lloyd, his Greenfields Support Co-ordinator, became aware of his struggles, she arranged for Walter to receive a Go Talk 9 device, which reads out tailored messages on his behalf. At the press of a button, callers hear a computerised voice read out messages such as: “I have difficulty with my speech, so please send me a letter instead”.

Kelly explains: “Walter can put his phone on loud speaker and simply press the relevant button so the caller to hear the message. It also connects to his pendant, so Walter can contact Carecall from any location in his bungalow if he requires support. He’s told me that this favourite button is already ‘I have difficulty with my speech, so please contact Kelly, my Greenfields Support Co-ordinator’!

“We felt the recordings would be better using a male voice, so Chris Ward, Walter’s Neighbourhood Co-ordinator, recorded 12 tailored voice commands and will record more if Walter requires them.”

Kelly and her Housing for Older People team members are on hand to support older residents who have particular needs. Anyone aged 65 or over or living in a Housing for Older People scheme are eligible for the service, which was offered to more than 450 residents last year. The Go Talk 9 device is part of a drive by co-ordinators to use technology to help improve lives and maintain independence.

Kelly visits Walter, 81, monthly to help him sort through his letters and bills, as has lost the use of his right arm and struggles to open them.

Walter’s home has received several aids and adaptations such as ramps and rails from Greenfields, so that he can continue to live independently without professional care.

He says: “Greenfields provides a superb service. It’s reassuring to have the communication device and I think it’s a really good idea.”

If you or a family member requires support from our Housing for Older Person Team, please visit: Housing for older people