Speech Pathology for Dementia
Dementia is an umbrella term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other cognitive (thinking) abilities that are severe enough to interfere with daily life. They also affect behavior, personality, feelings and relationships.
There are different types of dementia:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Lewy Body Dementia
- Frontotemporal Dementia
- Primary Progressive Aphasia
- Sub Cortical Dementias (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, PSP)
Reframing Dementia Care
“A person-centred approach to care seeks to focus on what people are still able to do, maintaining the individuality of the person with dementia, and in addition, promoting a sense of well-being by creating a supportive social environment, enabling the person to continue to communicate, maintain relationships and be socially included despite their dementia”
The latest literatures propose that people with dementia can respond to rehabilitation strategies that aim to improve intrinsic capacity, functional ability, and wellbeing. People with dementia have the desire and capability to participate in interventions and voice preferences about their care. At iBrain, we understand how important it is to place communication and relationships at the heart of dementia care.
We design care to hold the person with dementia in connection for as long as possible. We address the frustrations, unmet needs and unfulfilled goals of people living with dementia and their families. The focus is always on quality of life, social inclusion and meaningful real life outcomes!
Learning how to effectively communicate with others is imperative for people living with dementia. But, at iBrain, we treat more than lost speech and language function! Our goal of treatment is to maintain independence and quality of life of the person with dementia for as long as possible.
We can provide support on memory, attention, problem solving, and higher-level thinking skills. Some examples of intervention we provide include:
- Practicing learning important information using space retrieval techniques.
- Communication Therapy for word finding, discourse, script, writing, spelling.
- Education and Counselling for the person, family and friends.
- Environmental modifications to make the appropriate adaptations for the person with dementia to function more independently and safely.
- Making “memory books” and “memory wallets” to help remember personal information.
- Training family members and caregivers on how to communicate more effectively with the person with dementia.
- Comfort Care and End of Life Care.
Swallowing and Mealtime Support
As dementia progresses, swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) may become more common. They may have difficulties with chewing food, forget to chew or may get tired easily. Swallowing problems put people at risk of choking, aspiration pneuomina, malnutrition and dehydration. Caring for a person with dysphagia and dementia presents a set of unique and difficult challenges.
Speech Pathologists at iBrain specialise in providing assessment and management of dysphagia. We can help intervene early and preserve both health and quality of life.