FAQ52: What minimum information should be given to a new or potential Laryngectomee?
An Answer from Dutch Helms, WebWhispers Webmaster:
(1) Make sure patient and caregiver get copies of the IAL and Webwhispers brochures ... so they know we are OUT HERE!! Also, if there is a local or close-by laryngectomee support group, make sure that the patient and caregiver are aware of them AND that the local group is aware of the soon-to-be laryngectomee!!.
(2) If there IS a local/close-by club, try to arrange for a pre-op visit by a fully rehabilitated laryngectomee so that the patient and the family can see that a "good voice" and a "good life" IS possible after surgery.
(3) Make sure patient/caregiver meet substantively with a qualified SLP prior to surgery ... to discuss "speech options". Maybe even try out an electrolarynx or two ... just to use in the immediate post-op period until a final choice is made. (Most SLP's should have VHS tapes or DVD's available that explain the options and demonstrate the "voices".)
(4) Make sure patient has access to the book, "Self Help for the Laryngectomee", by Edmund Lauder, or at least some other authoritative book that "tells it like it is."
(5) Provide the patient with at least a minimal listing of Laryngectomee Product Suppliers ... places where things needed can be found ... names, addresses, phone numbers, and Email addresses. (A brochure from one or two companies might be nice, too.)
(6) Provide information on the next/upcoming IAL Annual Meeting and Voice Institute ... attending these events is especially valuable for brand new laryngectomees and can speed their transition back to feeling "normal" again.
I am sure there are many more .. but hope these help a bit.
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