Dementia, which is a term that encompasses many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, is a chronic condition affecting memory, cognitive skills, and social abilities. There are many different stages to all types of dementia and each stage comes with unique changes in the individual’s ability to communicate, complete activities of daily living, and interact with their family and loved ones.
Although the share of the older population with dementia has fallen, the likelihood of developing dementia rises with each year after age 65. There are many factors besides age that contribute to the likelihood of developing dementia such as overall health status, marriage status, gender, ethnicity, and COVID status.
In order to keep individuals with dementia as independent as possible for as long as possible it’s critical for all supporters and caregivers to use consistent communication styles and strategies. It’s also important for all those involved in care to have an understanding of realistic functional performance.
This interdisciplinary short course will provide attendees a framework to better understand communication styles and functional expectations for individuals at varying stages on the Dementia continuum. Attendees will be provided practical interventions for communication and rehabilitation that they can add to their ‘toolbox’ for working with individuals with dementia.