Saturday, June 5, 2010

Effective Communication With Dementia

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The Alzheimer's Association reports that over 5.3 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. You may have loved one with dementia. Communication between the two of you is important. As his dementia progresses, communicating with him becomes more challenging. It is helpful to get to know the deficits and special needs your loved one dementia has and how to compensate for his losses.
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functions because of changes in the brain. These changes may be the result of disease or trauma. According to an article in the August 25, 2005, issue of the Senior Journal, low blood flow in the brain can cause dementia. In Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, there is the build up of abnormal proteins which cause brain damage. The changes may happen slowly or quickly. The communication ability of persons with dementia gets worse as the disease progresses.
Cognition is the process of learning, thinking and perceiving. Many cognitive functions are affected by dementia. They include memory, reasoning, decision making, judgment, spatial orientation and communication. Every person with dementia has different combinations of cognitive difficulties depending on which part of his brain is damaged. The only common problem initially is loss of short term memory. As the disease progresses, most people with dementia experience communication difficulties.

Some people with dementia may have difficulty finding the correct word to use when they are trying to tell you something. Even though their speech may be fluent, it makes no sense. This is called expressive aphasia. Others with dementia may not be able to comprehend what you are trying to tell them. This is receptive aphasia.

As the dementia progresses, its victims lose their reading and writing ability which are also forms of communication. They often no longer understand the proper way to converse with you. They may...Read all of Effective Communication With Dementia

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