Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Memory and communication support in dementia: research-based strategies for caregivers

  • Erin R. Smith (a1), Megan Broughton (a1), Rosemary Baker (a1), Nancy A. Pachana (a2), Anthony J. Angwin (a1), Michael S. Humphreys (a2), Leander Mitchell (a2), Gerard J. Byrne (a3), David A. Copland (a1) (a4), Cindy Gallois (a2), Desley Hegney (a5) (a6) and Helen J. Chenery (a6)...

Abstract

Background: Difficulties with memory and communication are prominent and distressing features of dementia which impact on the person with dementia and contribute to caregiver stress and burden. There is a need to provide caregivers with strategies to support and maximize memory and communication abilities in people with dementia. In this project, a team of clinicians, researchers and educators in neuropsychology, psychogeriatrics, nursing and speech pathology translated research-based knowledge from these fields into a program of practical strategies for everyday use by family and professional caregivers.

Methods: From the available research evidence, the project team identified compensatory or facilitative strategies to assist with common areas of difficulty, and structured these under the mnemonics RECAPS (for memory) and MESSAGE (for communication). This information was adapted for presentation in a DVD-based education program in accordance with known characteristics of effective caregiver education.

Results: The resultant DVD comprises (1) information on the nature and importance of memory and communication in everyday life; (2) explanations of common patterns of difficulty and preserved ability in memory and communication across the stages of dementia; (3) acted vignettes demonstrating the strategies, based on authentic samples of speech in dementia; and (4) scenarios to prompt the viewer to consider the benefits of using the strategies.

Conclusion: Using a knowledge-translation framework, information and strategies can be provided to family and professional caregivers to help them optimize residual memory and communication in people with dementia. Future development of the materials, incorporating consumer feedback, will focus on methods for enabling wider dissemination.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Dr Erin Smith, Division of Speech Pathology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Queensland 4072, Australia. Phone: +61 7 3346 7451; Fax: +61 7 3365 1877. Email: e.smith1@uq.edu.au.

References

Hide All
Albert, M. S. (2008). The neuropsychology of the development of Alzheimer's disease. In Craik, F. I. M. and Salthouse, T. A. (eds.), The Handbook of Aging and Cognition. New York: Psychology Press.
Alzheimer's Australia Vic (2006). Effective Communication with People with Dementia, DVD. Hawthorn: Alzheimer's Australia Vic.
Avila, R., Carvalho, I. A. M., Seral, C. and Miotto, E. C. (2004). Neuropsychological rehabilitation of memory deficits and activities of daily living in patients with Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 37, 17211729.
Bird, M. (2001). Behavioural difficulties and cued recall of adaptive behaviour in dementia: experimental and clinical evidence. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 11, 357375.
Bourgeois, M. S. and Hickey, E. M. (2009). Dementia: From Diagnosis to Management. A Functional Approach. New York: Psychology Press.
Caramelli, P., Mansur, L. L. and Nitrini, R. (1998). Language and communication disorders in dementia of the Alzheimer type. In Stemmer, B. and Whitaker, H. A. (eds.), Handbook of Neurolinguistics. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Clare, L. and Woods, R. T. (2004). Cognitive training and cognitive rehabilitation for people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease: a review. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 14, 385401.
Cross, S. M. B., Broomfield, N. M., Davies, R. and Evans, J. J. (2008). Awareness, knowledge and application of memory rehabilitation among community psychiatric nurses working with dementia. Dementia, 7, 383395.
de Vreese, L. P., Neri, M., Fioravanti, M., Belloi, L. and Zanetti, O. (2001). Memory rehabilitation in Alzheimer's disease: a review of progress. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 16, 794809.
Delazer, M., Semenza, C., Reiner, M., Hofer, R. and Benke, T. (2003). Anomia for people names in DAT – Evidence for semantic and post-semantic impairments. Neuropsychologia, 41, 15931598.
Doody, R. S. et al. (2001). Practice parameter: management of dementia (an evidence-based review). Neurology, 56, 11541166.
Draper, B., Low, L-F., Withall, A., Vickland, V. and Ward, T. (2009). Translating dementia research into practice. International Psychogeriatrics, 21, 572580.
Edberg, A.-K., Nordmark Sandgren, Å. and Hallberg, I. R. (1995). Initiating and terminating verbal interaction between nurses and severely demented patients regarded as vocally disruptive. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 2, 159167.
Engelman, K. K., Mathews, R. M. and Altus, D. E. (2002). Restoring dressing independence in persons with Alzheimer's disease: a pilot study. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 17, 3743.
Gallo, J. L., Schmidt, K. S. and Libon, D. J. (2008). Behavioral and psychological symptoms, neurocognitive performance, and functional independence in mild dementia. Dementia, 7, 397413.
Hamilton, H. E. (1991). Accommodation and mental disability. In Giles, H., Coupland, J. and Coupland, N. (eds.), Contexts of Accommodation (pp. 157186). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hendryx-Bedalov, P. M. (1999). Effects of caregiver communication on the outcomes of requests in spouses with dementia of the Alzheimer type. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 49, 127148.
Hubbard, G., Cook, A., Tester, S. and Downs, M. (2002). Beyond words: older people with dementia using and interpreting nonverbal behaviour. Journal of Aging Studies, 16, 155167.
Irvine, A. B., Ary, D. V. and Bourgeois, M. S. (2003). An interactive multimedia program to train professional caregivers. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 22, 269288.
Josephsson, S., Bäckman, L., Borell, L., Bernspång, B., Nygård, L. and Rönnberg, L. (1993). Supporting everyday activities in dementia: an intervention study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 8, 395400.
Kemper, S., Anagnopoulos, C., Lyons, K. and Heberlein, W. (1994). Speech accommodations to dementia. Journals of Gerontology, 49, P223P229.
Kemper, S. and Harden, T. (1999). Experimentally disentangling what's beneficial about Elderspeak and what's not. Psychology and Aging, 14, 656670.
Lonie, J. A. et al. (2009). Dual task performance in early Alzheimer's disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment and depression. Psychological Medicine, 39, 2331.
Nelis, S., Quinn, C. and Clare, L. (2007). Information and support interventions for caregivers of people with dementia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Art. no.: CD006440.
Pashek, G. V. and DiVenere, E. (2006). Auditory comprehension in Alzheimer disease: influences of gesture and speech rate. Journal of Medical Speech-Language Pathology, 14, 143155.
Patterson, K., Nestor, P. J. and Rogers, T. T. (2007). Where do you know what you know? The representation of semantic knowledge in the human brain. Nature Reviews: Neuroscience, 8, 976988.
Pinquart, M. and Sörensen, S. (2006). Helping caregivers of persons with dementia: which interventions work and how large are their effects? International Psychogeriatrics, 18, 577595.
Purves, B. and Small, J. (2006). Responsiveness to phonemic cueing versus semantically related multiple-choice in Alzheimer's disease. Brain and Language, 99, 4546.
Ripich, D. N., Wykle, M. and Niles, S. (1995). Alzheimer's disease caregivers: the FOCUSED program. Geriatric Nursing, 16, 1519.
Ripich, D. N., Ziol, E., Fritsch, T. and Durand, E. J. (1999). Training Alzheimer's disease caregivers for successful communication. Clinical Gerontologist, 21, 3756.
Rochon, E., Waters, G. and Caplan, D. (1994). Sentence comprehension in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Brain and Language, 46, 329349.
Rosa, E. et al. (2010). Needs of caregivers of the patients with dementia. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 51, 5458. doi:10.1016/j.archger.2009.07.008.
Sabat, S. R. (1994). Language function in Alzheimer's disease: a critical review of selected literature. Language and Communication, 14, 331351.
Sabat, S. R. (2006). Implicit memory and people with Alzheimer's disease: implications for caregiving. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 21, 1114.
Small, J. A. and Gutman, G. (2002). Recommended and reported use of communication strategies in Alzheimer caregiving. Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders, 16, 270278.
Small, J. A., Kemper, S. and Lyons, K. (1997). Sentence comprehension in Alzheimer's disease: effects of grammatical complexity, speech rate, and repetition. Psychology and Aging, 12, 311.
Sohlberg, M. M., Ehlhardt, L. and Kennedy, M. (2005). Instructional techniques in cognitive rehabilitation: a preliminary report. Seminars in Speech and Language, 26, 268279.
Tappen, R. M., Williams-Burgess, C., Edelstein, J., Touhy, T. and Fishman, S. (1997). Communicating with individuals with Alzheimer's disease: examination of recommended strategies. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 11, 249256.
Tomoeda, C. K., Bayles, K. A., Boone, D. R., Kaszniak, A. W. and Slauson, T. J. (1990). Speech rate and syntactic complexity effects on the auditory comprehension of Alzheimer patients. Journal of Communication Disorders, 23, 151161.
van Halteren-van Tilborg, I. A. D. A., Scherder, E. J. A. and Hulstijn, W. (2007). Motor-skill learning in Alzheimer's disease: a review with an eye to the clinical practice. Neuropsychology Review, 17, 203212.
Vasse, E., Vernooij-Dassen, M., Spijker, A., Rikkert, N. O. and Koopmans, R. (2010). A systematic review of communication strategies for people with dementia in residential and nursing homes. International Psychogeriatrics, 22, 189200.
Vitaliano, P. P., Young, H. M., Russo, J., Romano, J. and Magana-Amato, A. (1993). Does expressed emotion in spouses predict subsequent problems among care recipients with Alzheimer's disease? Journal of Gerontology, 48, 202209.
Zanetti, O. et al. (2001). Effectiveness of procedural memory stimulation in mild Alzheimer's disease patients: a controlled study. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 11, 263272.

Keywords

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Smith supplementary material
Appendix

 PDF (677 KB)
677 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed