These therapy activities and techniques help clients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) remain more alert, sociable, and communicative throughout the stages of the disease.
- Assess communication and reduce communication breakdowns in persons with mild to severe Alzheimer's and dementia
- Implement strategies to manage memory, swallowing, communication, and social challenges
- Form an Alzheimer's/dementia support group
Give families of persons with Alzheimer's disease and dementia accurate information, clear-cut assessments, and practical suggestions to aid in communication. The information is adaptable to persons residing in assisted living centers, skilled nursing facilities, or at home. Copy the client activity pages or print them out from the FREE CD. Features of the book are:
- 80 pages of reproducible therapy materials including pictures for conversation topics, schedules, social reminders, and activities for daily living
- suggestions for modifying the environment to keep the person with AD safe and oriented
- therapy strategies such as memory aids and the use of errorless learning and spaced retrieval
- guidelines for forming a caregiver support group with reproducible handouts
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- According to the Alzheimer's Association (2009), one in eight persons aged 65 and older have Alzheimer's disease. This population will continue to grow as the baby boomer generation ages, putting increasing strain on the health care system.
- Caregiver training on the following communication strategies was effective between caregivers and individuals with Alzheimer's disease: using simple sentences, asking yes/no questions, and eliminating environmental distractions (Small, Gutman, Makela, & Hillhouse, 2003).
- Speech-language pathologists have adequate training in the areas of cognitive-communication disorders and dysphagia and must use ethical judgment to provide appropriate intervention to individuals with dementia (ASHA, 2005).
- In a study of individuals with mild cognitive impairment and possible early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, participants showed significant improvements in verbal and episodic memory after participating in a structured cognitive rehabilitation program, including external memory aids and memory strategies (Kurz, Pohl, Ramsenthaler, & Sorg, 2009).
- Early research shows that spaced-retrieval techniques to improve memory in individuals with mild dementia are beneficial and effective with this clinical population (Mimura & Komatsu, 2007).
The Source for Alzheimer's & Dementia incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
Alzheimer's Association. (2009). 2009 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from http://www.alz.org/national/documents/report_alzfactsfigures2009.pdf
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). (2005). The roles of speech-language pathologists working with individuals with dementia-based communication disorders [Position Statement]. Retrieved December 1, 2009, from www.asha.org/docs/pdf/PS2005-00118.pdf
Kurz, A., Pohl, C., Ramsenthaler, M., & Sorg, C. (2009). Cognitive rehabilitation in patients with mild cognitive impairment. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 24, 163-168.
Mimura, M., & Komatsu, S. (2007). Cognitive rehabilitation and cognitive training for mild dementia. Psychogeriatrics, 7, 137-143.
Small, J.A., Gutman, G., Makela, S., & Hillhouse, B. (2003). Effectiveness of communication strategies by caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's disease during activities of daily living. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 353-367.