12 Christmas Gifts That Helped Me After My Stroke


When I had my stroke 12 years ago, some of the things I received as Christmas gifts were simple and yet very beneficial in my recovery. They assisted me with short-term memory loss, cognitive issues, English and math skills, as well as reading comprehension.

1. Coloring books to practice staying within the lines and to de-stress.

2. Books by my favorite authors so I could read a chapter a day and work on retaining what I read.

3. Old-time radio shows such as Jack Benny, Abbott and Costello, Burns and Allen for some humor therapy.

4. Well known comedians such as Jeff Dunham, Carrot Top and Gallagher on DVD for humor therapy and relaxation.

5. Brain games books that contain word search, sudoko, crosswords and trivia. Brain Quest has a variety of books to help out with math, memory and English skills.

6. Brain teaser puzzles to assist with logic and thinking.

7. Pixy Cubes, a game where you have to copy the card pattern from memory.

8. Think Fun has a variety of games ranging from logic and memory to word.

9. For those who have aphasia where they know what they want to say but can’t remember the word, these two workbooks were a huge benefit for me. Loved ones can set aside an hour a day to work on the lessons with their family member affected by this.

Speech Therapy Aphasia Rehabilitation Workbook: Expressive and Written Language” by Anderson M.S.   CCC-SLP, Amanda Paige

Speech Therapy Aphasia Rehabilitation *STAR* Workbook II: Receptive Language” by  Anderson M.S. CCC-SLP, Amanda Paige

10. Kids’ games. I was able to dig out my old games from when I was a kid that helped me with memory retention, reflexes in my hands and memory, such as Simon.

11. Video games. If the stroke affected the person’s mobility, getting video games such as Wii with a variety of actives such as tennis, bowling, baseball, dancing where the person has to move around to hit their target can be very beneficial for strengthening muscles and improving coordination.

12. Relaxation sounds. For quiet time, I’ve found relaxation sounds of waves, dolphins, loons, Niagara Falls etc. to be very soothing. Dan Gibson’s Solitudes has a wide variety of CDs I’ve found to be just what I needed when I wanted to rest after a long day of working out in rehab.

By choosing gifts that are beneficial for your loved one who’s recovering from a stroke, it can help them regain the confidence they need to relearn what we may take for granted such as walking and holding an item, as well as cognitive skills such as reading comprehension, spelling, grammar, math, memory, relearning how to take directions, and writing their own name.

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