Exercises that May Help Your Loved One Regain Function After Surgery or Radiation

...also by the fabulous Donna McCart.

 

Just some ideas... [Please feel free to email us others that you have!]

 

A neuro speech therapist that works typically with brain trauma patients (post accident etc) basically says the brain is a muscle, so exercise it. That exercise can help reconnect connections or create new pathways around the part of the brain that has issues. Make sense?

 

Here's a basic sample of practice exercises that can be done for a few minutes or an hour or a few hours at a time.

 

I refer to 'him' here because I wrote them out for someone that their loved one is a him.

 

Warm Up:

 

1/Tell him to say days of week, months of year and what today's date is

 

2/Count to 50 by 2's and 100 by 5's

 

3/Tell me the seasons and what the weather is like in each season

 

4/Point out household objects and have him tell you their names and explain what they are used for and for bonus points how to use them.

 

 

Practice - 

 

5/Do categories - Name a category and have him list 3 to 5 things in that category... examples: Fruits, Holidays, Things you drink, Appliances, Types of pets, jungle animals, body parts, automobiles, states, occupations, types of dogs, tv programs, school subjects, vacation spots, song titles, sports teams

 

6/Attributes - name something and have him describe the attributes - examples: car, watch, shovel, belt, forest, foot, table, elephant, suitcase, fly swatter, kitchen, chair, tent, rain, circus, milk, dictionary etc.

 

7/Reverse it... describe attributes and have him tell you what it is... example - red, shiny, fruit, macintosh (he should answer apple) or you write with it, it has ink in it, sometimes it's a ball point (he should answer pen)

 

8/Finish the sentence...* Drink your _____* Spin the _____* Lend me your ____* Draw a _____* Tighten your _____* Trip over____* Stop at the ____* Walk the _____* Sign the _____

 

9/Play Simon says.  Start with one command, such as, "Close your eyes."  Then after a few move up to two commands - touch your nose and pat your stomach.  Then after a few move up to three commands - point to the floor, wave your fingers and blink your eyes.

 

10/Find the Thing. - Go to kitchen (or a specific room) and have him find a certain number of x.  Some examples: In kitchen - point to three appliances- get me 2 forks- fill 4 cups with water- get me 7 tea bags- find two bowls that are different sizes.

 

11/Make Change - Gather pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Ask him to give you XXX. For example: give me $1 using quarters, give me 50 cents using dimes and nickels, give me $2.78 using any coins (we try to do 15 or 20 different amounts), etc.

 

12/Do word search (seek a word books can be found in most children's books sections, including various pharmacies, Walmart, Target, etc)

 

13/Write a letter - have them write a letter or dictate a letter. For example.. how does it start if we were writing a letter to XXX.

 

14/Pick random pictures with different scenes and have them describe them.

 

15/Read 4 words and have him repeat in reverse order.  Examples:

 

Bottle, jug, box, can

Street, road, avenue, lane

gray, blonde, brunette, black

burn, char, singe, scorch

cabbage, spinach, lettuce ad coleslaw

pamphlet, magazine, book, postcard 

rose, daisy, violet, lily

 

16/ Then the last one, which is usually the most interesting....

 

On index cards write these words one per card using the ink color next to it (you need markers and index cards)...

 

Word in this color ink (create as many as you want)

Blue written in black ink

Blue written in red ink

Blue in blue ink

Blue in green ink

Red in green ink

Red in black ink

Red in yellow ink

Pink in blue ink

Pink in black ink

Pink in green ink

Yellow in black ink

Yellow in green ink

Yellow in red ink

Purple in black ink

Purple in red ink

Orange in red ink

Orange in black ink

 

Then ask him to tell you the color ink that the word is written in. Meaning the color of the ink and not the word that it spells out. Example: Black is the word but it's written in red ink.

 

We also use lumosity.com which is an online website when he is able to use the computer.

 

Please feel free to add other brain exercises.

 

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