Open Yourself Up to the Possibilities: “Communicating” With People With Dementia What would it be like to lose your “words,” to be unable to remember a phrase or the name of your children? When will you learn your last “new word” and struggle to even recall the ones that you learned very early in your life? What if losing these words ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2008
Open Yourself Up to the Possibilities: “Communicating” With People With Dementia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Grace M. Burke
    Dementia Support Services, LLC, Broken Arrow, OK
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2008
Open Yourself Up to the Possibilities: “Communicating” With People With Dementia
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2008, Vol. 13, 74-78. doi:10.1044/gero13.2.74
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2008, Vol. 13, 74-78. doi:10.1044/gero13.2.74
Abstract

What would it be like to lose your “words,” to be unable to remember a phrase or the name of your children? When will you learn your last “new word” and struggle to even recall the ones that you learned very early in your life? What if losing these words was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg? What about when you eventually can't understand what others are saying to you or when the stories they tell are too hard to follow, words are too complex, the environment too overwhelming, and you can't listen for more than a few seconds? What about when words no longer come for important needs like a drink, a sweet, or a walk in the sun?

Difficulty with communication is often one of the first noticeable symptoms of people who have Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and is listed as one of the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's (Alzheimer's Association, n.d.).

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