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Getting started: non-verbal communication

They concluded that combining pharmacological treatment with psychosocial intervention might prove to be an effective strategy to enhance the quality of life of persons with DAT. Therefore, the current study highlights the utility of the ICF framework in documentation of activity limitations and participation restrictions to set therapy goals of persons with DAT.

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Post hoc analysis by Tukey's HSD multiple comparison revealed that there is a significant difference in the environmental barriers for communication across the mild, moderate and severe DAT groups. The difference was significant between the mild and severe groups. The results are suggestive of minimal environmental barriers for the mild group when compared to the moderate and severe groups. This finding was consistent with those observations which indicated that persons with mild DAT benefit from strategies to improve memory, and they continue to live relatively independent lives with a minimum of assistance [ 22 ].

Moderate and severe DAT populations required substantial support from their caregivers. Participants in the present study obtained good environmental support in their general care aspects. However, support from the caregiver or family members was minimal for communication enhancement. In the present study, this can also be a major reason for the reported environmental barriers in functional communication.


Family members and caregivers were not aware of the various communication strategies that could be used in persons with DAT. Zientz et al. Robinson et al.

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Caregiver-focused intervention is essential for the effective incorporation of communication strategies in the various phases of Alzheimer's disease. Thus, the current study emphasizes the need for educating the caregivers to become a facilitator in functional communication. According to Kinsella and Phillips [ 25 ], individuals with dementia-associated communication problems are the fastest growing clinical population. The most common dementia-associated diseases are progressive in nature and in need of appropriate services that will benefit the individual and maximize cognitive-communication functioning at all stages of the disease process.

The current study attempted to profile the communication-related activity limitations, participation restrictions and environmental barriers in persons with DAT. It highlighted the implication of the ICF in profiling the overall functionality of the individuals with DAT irrespective of the severity of the disorder. This study has implications for making a management plan oriented towards functionality of persons with DAT.

Furthermore, it highlighted the need towards caregiver-oriented communication management of individuals. The study will have implications for deciding the occupational status back to work or continuing in work of persons with dementia. The ASHA [ 26 ] mandates the role of the speech language pathologist in the identification, assessment, intervention, counselling, collaboration, case management, education, advocacy and research of persons with DAT. Since the current study focused on the overall functionality of the individual, it will be useful for the speech language pathologists to address the specific goals in the DAT population on a broader perspective.

Even though we did not address the outcome measurement, future studies can focus on the utility of a similar framework to document the functionality before and after treatment. Future studies extending the same methods for other adult communication disorders should also be conducted. Additional items were also added to obtain a complete picture of communication-related functionality of the individuals.

The results highlighted the unique feature of the ICF in profiling the activity limitations and participation restrictions of persons with DAT irrespective of the severity. It also indicated a need for modification of the communication environment and caregiver-oriented intervention for persons with DAT. Thus, the interactive ICF model is highly useful for profiling a multifaceted condition like DAT in an individualized and personalized way. The study has implication for facilitating communication-related quality of life in DAT population.

Body functions are the physiological functions of body systems including psychological functions. Body structures are anatomical parts of the body such as organs, limbs and their components. Impairments are problems in body function and structure such as significant deviation or loss. Activity limitations are difficulties an individual may have in executing activities. Participation restrictions are problems an individual may experience in involvement in life situations. Environmental factors make up the physical, social and attitudinal environment in which individuals live and conduct their lives.

These are either barriers to or facilitators of the person's functioning. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Dement Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra. Published online Dec 5. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Karger AG, Basel. Usage and distribution for commercial purposes as well as any distribution of modified material requires written permission. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Method Thirty bilingual individuals with DAT in the age range of years were classified into three groups of mild, moderate and severe degree of dementia.

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Results The study revealed a disproportionate impact of the severity of DAT on activity participation and environment components of the ICF. Method Participants Thirty bilingual English-Malayalam individuals 16 males and 14 females diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in the age range of years mean Results Thirty bilingual participants English-Malayalam aged years 16 males and 14 females who met the selection criteria and whose responses including caretaker to the questionnaire were complete in all aspects were analysed.

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Table 1 Distribution of the number of participants with various levels of activity limitations and participation restrictions. Open in a separate window. Table 2 Kruskal-Wallis comparison of the activity and participation component in persons with mild, moderate and severe DAT.

Groups n Mean rank Test statistics Kruskal-Wallis d. Table 3 Kruskal-Wallis comparison of the environment component in persons with mild, moderate and severe DAT. Discussion Communication-Related Activity Limitations and Participation Restrictions in DAT Activity limitations and participation restrictions due to impairment in body functions and structure are highlighted as major criteria for the diagnosis of dementia. Implications of the Study According to Kinsella and Phillips [ 25 ], individuals with dementia-associated communication problems are the fastest growing clinical population.

Communication and Alzheimer's

Appendix I Body functions are the physiological functions of body systems including psychological functions. Activity is the execution of a task or action by an individual. Participation is involvement in a life situation. Social communication 1. Refers to familiar individuals by name d speaking, communication 2.

Requests information of others d speaking, body language, communication 3. Explains how to do something d 4. Exchanges information on the phone d using telecommunication devices, communication 6. Participates in group conversation d discussion with many persons, conversation, communication 7. Follows simple verbal directions 9. Understands non-literal meaning and inference Smiles or laughs at lighthearted comments Understands conversations when they occur in noise d focusing attention, learning and applying knowledge Understands what's heard on TV and radio d, d watching, listening, purposeful sensory experience, learning and applying knowledge Understands facial expressions d communicating with — receiving — body gestures, communication Understands the tone of voice d communicating with — receiving — spoken messages, communication Initiates communication with other individuals d starting a conversation, conversation, communication Adds new information on a topic in conversation Changes topics in conversation d sustaining a conversation, conversation, communication Adjusts to a change in a topic in conversation Communication of basic needs Recognizes familiar faces d respect and warmth in relationships, general interpersonal interactions, interpersonal interactions and relationship Recognizes familiar voices Makes strong likes or dislikes known d d speaking, body language, communication Expresses feelings Requests help when necessary Makes needs or wants known Mater Sociomed.

Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Corresponding author: Mr. Received Jul 9; Accepted Aug Abstract Introduction: Population aging increases the number of people with dementia. Aim: To present the importance of communication: To present communication difficulties which are the result of dementia; To present adaptations in the way of communicating with people with dementia.

Material and methods: The article has a descriptive character, and represents a review of the literature dealing with this topic. Results: Difficulties in area of language are a common symptom in people with dementia.

Getting started: non-verbal communication

Conclusion: Communication for people with dementia and with people with dementia for all persons involved in care including family members, medical staff and therapists, and members of the community can be very challenging. Keywords: dementia, communication, communication difficulties. AIM The goal for the article is to present the importance of communication, and to present communication difficulties which are the result of dementia.

Conflict of interest: none declared. Hrvatska udruga za Alzheimerovu bolest.

Dementia Communication Tips

Zagreb: Demencija kod Alzheimerove bolesti. Sep, [ Apr 26]. World Alzheimer Report Diagnostic utility of ancillary tests in dementia workups, systematic review. Part 1: Neuroimaging. Rev Chil Neuropsiquiatr. Assessment of Language Function in Dementia. Geriatr Aging.

Principles of Neural Sciences. New York: McGraw-Hill; Language and the aphasias. Roswenfeld D. Manual of Neurologica Practice.