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Old 31.10.2017, 15:40
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Partner had a stroke and looking for things to do

Hi All,

My partner that lives with me here in Zurich suffered a massive stroke in July 2015, losing majority of her left brain, leaving her with both speech Aphrasia and speech Apraxia, meaning that she is unable to express what she is thinking and is unable to put together a sentence consisting of more than 3 or 4 words.
The medical care here has been outstanding and she still attends speech and physio therapy a few times a week.

The problem is, eventhough she struggles with speech and her right hand, she functions and thinks as normal in all other aspects. When we initially moved to Zurich she was out and about and visited every single site and museum possible while I was at work, of which she is now bored of all of them. I am looking for things and ideas for her to do that does not require much human interaction and discussion. I have thought of things such as walking dogs, making coffee in a coffee shop, volunteering somewhere etc. but my search for something like this has been futile so far. If anyone has any ideas or contacts that you could share with me, that would be great.

Please note that we are not looking for a job or income sources for her, as she still has speech and physio therapy some days and I am able to support her here, but rather something for her to do during the day while I am at work and something she can look forward to and have a sense of purpose when she wakes up in the morning.

Any ideas or input would be greatly appreciated

Thanks
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Old 31.10.2017, 15:46
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Re: Parnter had a stroke and looking for things to do

That's a lot to be going through, for both of you! What a caring, differentiated post of yours!

Does your partner have transport? Can she travel by herself, or take a taxi, to get to a club or to someone's home, to do something there, and home again safely? If so, then that could perhaps open more possibilities.
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Old 31.10.2017, 15:49
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Re: Parnter had a stroke and looking for things to do

Terribly sorry about what happened, similar happened to my father in law as well. I can understand you.

I do not know if she can, but how about helping other people who cannot drive ? Do you know tixi ?

Volunteer taxi driving ?

https://www.tixi.ch/
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Old 31.10.2017, 15:51
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That's a lot to be going through, for both of you! What a caring, differentiated post of yours!

Does your partner have transport? Can she travel by herself, or take a taxi, to get to a club or to someone's home, to do something there, and home again safely? If so, then that could perhaps open more possibilities.
Yeah she navigates on the trains with the SBB app and google maps here perfectly and she can also use Uber. Normal taxis are a little more difficult because she can't express where she wants to go, but she will eventually get it right if she has to. She has even navigated herself to Lucern and back for a day trip on her own

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Terribly sorry about what happened, similar happened to my father in law as well. I can understand you.

I do not know if she can, but how about helping other people who cannot drive ? Do you know tixi ?

Volunteer taxi driving ?

https://www.tixi.ch/
Unfortunately because she has lost most of the movement in her right hand she is unable to drive. Part of the plan in the pipeline at Physio is to take her through a back to driving course and evaluation on this, but that is not anywhere in the near future unfortunately.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 01.11.2017 at 01:24. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 31.10.2017, 16:13
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Re: Parnter had a stroke and looking for things to do

Dallmayr, although it seems counterintuitive, the 'standard' type of volunteer work with dogs/pets actually involves a fair amount of communication, as discussing what happened on the walk with the dog is often part of an assessment program.

However, if your partner likes dogs, I would suggest another route. Why not get in touch with the folks at Therapie Hund Schweiz and ask what sorts of programs might be appropriate for your partner?
http://www.therapiehunde.ch/de/

Or the folks running the Sozialhund program, another program under the aegis of the Blindenhund training organization at Allschwil:
http://www.blindenhundeschule.ch/sozialhunde.html

A therapy dog is a dog who is specially trained to aid people in various recovery efforts, to bring comfort to those with difficulties, either physical or emotional.

When my father was struggling with Alzheimers therapy dogs were a godsend. He was a life long dog lover, the time spent with these special dogs brought him so much joy. He walked the dogs, along with their person, brushed them, cuddled them, even after he had lost the power of speech the dogs helped him show his emotions and feelings.

Therapy dogs are trained in all sorts of areas, for help with all sorts of personal difficulties.

There are several therapy dog groups, as well as 'social dogs' who, while not trained to the level of a therapy dog, visit people to bring companionship and comfort. You might even ask your partner's physiotherapist if he or she knows of a program that is recommended.

Wishing you and your partner all the very best.
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Old 31.10.2017, 16:37
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Re: Parnter had a stroke and looking for things to do

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http://www.therapiehunde.ch/de/
http://www.blindenhundeschule.ch/sozialhunde.html

A therapy dog is a dog who is specially trained to aid people in various recovery efforts, to bring comfort to those with difficulties, either physical or emotional.
Something I have never heard of before or considered but what a fantastic idea, thank you. I will definately be doing more research into this.
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Old 31.10.2017, 18:17
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Re: Partner had a stroke and looking for things to do

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.... losing majority of her left brain, leaving her with both speech Aphrasia and speech Apraxia, meaning that she is unable to express what she is thinking and is unable to put together a sentence consisting of more than 3 or 4 words.
....
even though she struggles with speech and her right hand, she functions and thinks as normal in all other aspects.

.... I am looking for things and ideas for her to do that does not require much human interaction and discussion.

....something for her to do during the day while I am at work and something she can look forward to and have a sense of purpose when she wakes up in the morning.
  1. Dallmayr, if you (and your partner) feel comfortable with your doing so, could you please give us a dozen or so concrete examples of what she still can and can no longer do?
  2. How strong/precise, etc. is her left hand? Could do:.... /could not do...
  3. Would she prefer not much human interaction because it is stressful being expected to speak when she cannot, or would she herself naturally prefer not to interact?
  4. Might she be comfortable with giving and receiving physical contact, perhaps hand signals as an alternative attempt to communicate?
  5. Which languages does she understand, or can she access, for her few words at a time?
I hope these don't come across as silly questions. Everyone is different, after all, and I'm trying to hear from you what kinds of things she might actually enjoy or find interesting, that could be within her current level of abilities.
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Old 31.10.2017, 18:37
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Re: Partner had a stroke and looking for things to do

Maybe something like plein air sketching/painting? Does not need much movement, not physically strenuous, she is probably interested in arts as she used to visit museums, creative and provides tremendous satisfaction.
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Old 31.10.2017, 22:04
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Re: Partner had a stroke and looking for things to do

Fragile Suisse is the association in Switzerland for people who have/had a stroke and their partners/family - there you could find ideas and support and possibility of communication. In Bern, they even have a choir (yes!)

http://www.fragile.ch

I wish you good luck and all the best to your partner. Take care of yourself too.

PS. I have no personal interest with the association.

Last edited by FMX; 31.10.2017 at 22:10. Reason: Important information
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Old 31.10.2017, 22:12
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Re: Partner had a stroke and looking for things to do

Dalmayr, a rather old article on therapy dogs in Switzerland. Hopefully things have moved forward since this 2004 article.

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/dog-the...erland/4112688

I also found this by googling.

https://www.assistancedogsinternatio...n/switzerland/

So might be worth contacting as well.

Another thought if she is artistic and the weather isn't good enough to be outdoors - what about some of those adult colouring books that are so popular these days? Could she manage something like that?
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Old 31.10.2017, 22:32
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Re: Partner had a stroke and looking for things to do

She might also like to join ZIWA - the Zurich International Women's Association - they are a diverse group of women with heaps of different activities each month.

https://www.ziwa.com/
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