Interventions for Cognitive-Linguistic Disorders Associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Purpose of Presentation.
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The purpose of this presentation is to take a look at four different type of interventions used to treat cognitive-linguistic disorders associated with Alzheimer’s disease and give future and/or present speech-language pathologist some ideas on how to implement these approaches.
“Designing interventions for persons with dementia should take into account the communication environment. Factors in this environment would include opportunities for interaction and typical communication partners. Caregivers maintain that eroding communication is the single most distressing problem they face in managing the disease. Therefore, prolonging communication for as long as possible, and at as high a level as possible, is a critical goal of intervention” (Ripich, D., & Horner, J., 2004 p.3).
The speech-language pathologist can implement the client’s pictures into memory books which are photo albums with captions. The SLP can use these to help the client retrieve the names of family members/caregivers, for example.
When discussing daily activities such as eating or bathing, the speech-language pathologist can incorporate pictures of food or clothing to help the client with topic maintenance.
Reminiscence therapy is a way for clients with Alzheimer’s disease to practice communication skills using a variety of materials such as pictures or music, or activities such cooking, or painting, that the client once or currently enjoys.
This type of therapy can be used with verbal and non-verbal clients
“Maintains cognitive stimulation, improves memory recall, and improves/maintains communication skills” (Ripich, D 2005 p 6).
The speech-language pathologist could use the client’s pictures as a way of facilitating conversation about events or times that were enjoyable to the client. Photos usually represent enjoyable experiences and help to summon memory.
A client who may not want to interact with the speech-language pathologist may be more inclined to talk while painting or even cooking.
Reminiscence therapy can be used in individual or group settings
The use of family and friends can further enhance reminiscence therapy and even help the client to be more engaged (Kennard, C. 2005).
Let’s say one of the client’s goals is to remember one of their caregiver’s names. The SLP would ask the client, for example, “What is your doctor’s name?” Then provide the answer “Dr. Smith.” That particular question could then be asked at the beginning of every session for 6 sessions.
The main goal would be to then generalize that particular question.
Brush, J.A. & Camp, C.J. (1998). A Therapy Technique for Improving Memory: Spaced-Retrieval, Beachwood, Ohio, Menorah Park Center for Senior Living.
Carnahan, N., Lingle, A., &McCullough, K. (2005) Using Spaced Retrieval Training in the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Dementia. Retrieved on November 28, 2005 from http://convention.asha.org/handouts/293_Carnahan_Natalie_072927_111405094554.pdf
Elliot, G (2005) Spaced Retrieval and Montessori for Dementia: Interventions Know to Enhance Function in Dementia.
Hopper, T. (2005, Nov. 8). Assessment and Treatment of Cognitive-Communication Disorders in Individuals with Dementia. The ASHA Leader, pp10-11
Kennard, C. (2004, Mar.31). Reminiscence Therapy. Retrieved on November 28 from Yahoo’s About website: http://alzheimers.about.com/b/a/076219.htm
Ripich, D. & Horner, J. (2004, April27). The Neurodegenerative Dementias: Diagnosis and Interventions. The ASHA Leader, pp.4-5, 14
Ripich, D. (2005, Feb.3). Alzheimer’s Disease, Assessment and Intervention. p6