Clinical Decision-Making for Stroke and Aphasia in the Older Adult A patient with aphasia that is uncomplicated by other cognitive abilities will usually show a primary impairment of language. The frequency of additional cognitive impairments associated with cerebrovascular disease, multiple (silent or diagnosed) infarcts, or dementia increases with age and can complicate a single focal lesion that produces aphasia. The ... Article
Article  |   July 01, 2009
Clinical Decision-Making for Stroke and Aphasia in the Older Adult
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jacqueline Hinckley
    University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   July 01, 2009
Clinical Decision-Making for Stroke and Aphasia in the Older Adult
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, July 2009, Vol. 14, 4-11. doi:10.1044/gero14.1.4
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, July 2009, Vol. 14, 4-11. doi:10.1044/gero14.1.4
Abstract

A patient with aphasia that is uncomplicated by other cognitive abilities will usually show a primary impairment of language. The frequency of additional cognitive impairments associated with cerebrovascular disease, multiple (silent or diagnosed) infarcts, or dementia increases with age and can complicate a single focal lesion that produces aphasia. The typical cognitive profiles of vascular dementia or dementia due to cerebrovascular disease may differ from the cognitive profile of patients with Alzheimer's dementia. In order to complete effective treatment selection, clinicians must know the cognitive profile of the patient and choose treatments accordingly. When attention, memory, and executive function are relatively preserved, strategy-based and conversation-based interventions provide the best choices to target personally relevant communication abilities. Examples of treatments in this category include PACE and Response Elaboration Training. When patients with aphasia have co-occurring episodic memory or executive function impairments, treatments that rely less on these abilities should be selected. Examples of treatments that fit these selection criteria include spaced retrieval and errorless learning. Finally, training caregivers in the use of supportive communication strategies is helpful to patients with aphasia, with or without additional cognitive complications.

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