Hi, I'm Emma.

In this video

I want to share

some of my tips

for going out in the community.

Going out in the community

is so important

for your mental health

and psychological well-being.

Aphasia can be very isolating

because you aren't

able to connect with strangers.

People can be cruel.

And think your ability

to talk properly

means that you're drunk, on drugs

or mentally disabled.

My first trips after my stroke

out in the community

were hard.

I felt self-conscious

that people were staring at me

because I walk differently.

My right arm is paralysed

and my elbow bent.

And then when I had to talk,

I felt even worse.

I was scared

that I wouldn't find the right words.

It took a few years

before I felt confident

to go out by myself.

Plan your trip beforehand with a friend or carer.

Know where you are going,

and what obstacles you may face.

If you are using public transport,

have the bus timetable handy,

either on phone or paper.

Have an I.D. card with your address on it

if you are not confident

in telling the driver where you live.

Perhaps even practice for

the trip with someone first.

If you are using a taxi for transport,

try to have a regular driver

who is familiar with you,

and the places you need to go.

One thing that helped me gain confidence

was going out in the community with my aphasia friends.

After our weekly group meetings,

we go out for a meal and then coffee.

Everyone must order their own meal and drinks.

There are carers if we need help.

But being forced

to do our own ordering

each week

has gradually built up my confidence.

The most valuable thing that helped me feel confident

to be out on my own

was an aphasia card

that I got

from the Australian Aphasia Association.

I had mine made into a badge

so I can wear it.

It says I have aphasia.

Sometimes I find it hard to speak,

listen, read or write.

You can help if you

speak clearly and give me time to answer.

The bonus of wearing this

was that it also helps me educate

people about aphasia.

Many people were interested to talk to me

about my stroke and aphasia.

Start slowly with going out and about.

Take someone with you at first.

Don't fear asking

people to repeat themselves

or to talk more slowly.

Gradually, gradually,

you can build up the confidence

to go out on your own.

If you need pictures to help you communicate,

take them along.

Phone apps are amazing,

so get some of these to help.

If people ask you questions,

educate them about aphasia and how it affects you.