Thursday, August 18, 2016

Not Cured...But Improved

Check out this article from the The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association about how conversational and memory supports can help maximize communication for clients with Alzheimer’s dementia.

There is no cure for dementia—the inevitable result of increasing cognitive impairment caused by Alzheimer’s disease, the progressive neurocognitive disorder. Speech-language pathologists need to focus “treatment” on managing symptoms with the goal of decreasing disability and maximizing functional abilities.

For SLPs, however, traditional models of rehabilitation and goal-setting involve an expectation of improvement, or at least stability—not decline—in function. So, when working with people with Alzheimer’s dementia, SLPs may have questions about how to best approach treatment. In my experience, the key is to facilitate specific communication behaviors related to everyday activities and life participation.

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