Effectiveness of Communication Strategies Used by Caregivers of Persons With Alzheimer's Disease During Activities of Daily Living

Small, Jeff A.; Gutman, Gloria; Makela, Saskia; Hillhouse, Beth
April 2003
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2003, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p353
Academic Journal
Communication difficulties between individuals with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their caregivers are commonly reported. Caregivers carry the burden of managing breakdowns in communication because people with AD are often unable to modify their communicative behavior. To assist caregivers in this endeavor, clinicians and caregiving professionals have offered a variety of strategies aimed at accommodating the individual's declining abilities. Many of these strategies are intuitively appealing, but they lack empirical support. This study investigated the effectiveness of 10 frequently recommended communication strategies when employed by family caregivers of persons with AD. In particular, we assessed (a) which strategies family caregivers report using and with what degree of success, (b) which of these strategies are used by caregivers in actual interactions with their spouses, and (c) which strategies contribute to improved communication. The study included a self-report questionnaire and wireless audio-recorded interactions between 18 persons with AD and their spousal caregivers during activities of daily living. The findings validate the effectiveness of certain communication strategies (e.g., simple sentences) but not others (e.g., slow speech). The results should be of interest to both family members and professionals who want to enhance communication and the quality of their interactions with persons with Alzheimer's disease.


Related Articles

  • Schwartz on Science: Alzheimer's disease. Schwartz, Eric // Washington Jewish Week;1/24/2013, Vol. 49 Issue 4, p7 

    The article focuses on the Alzheimer's disease which is one of the leading causes of death across the U.S. The author states that Alzheimer is one of common cause and form of dementia, and other symptoms include difficulty in learning or communicating, personality changes and overall memory...

  • Communicating with people with dementia: Avoiding mistakes. VOYER, PHILIPPE // Canadian Nurse;Jun2015, Vol. 111 Issue 5, p10 

    The article provides an answer to a question on how to communicate with people who have Alzheimer's disease and related dementia.

  • Communicating About Alzheimer's Disease.  // Communication Currents;Apr2012, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1 

    The article focuses on the difficulty of telling patients about Alzheimer's disease as they may forget what has been told.

  • Maximizing communication with the Alzheimer's patient. Shulman, Martin D.; Mandel, Ellen // Nursing Homes: Long Term Care Management;Sep93, Vol. 42 Issue 7, p36 

    Gives suggestions for communicating with an Alzheimer's patient. Understanding the true nature of the communicative deficit; Setting appropriate expectations; Use of gestures and facial expressions; Sticking to a topic; Simplifying sentences; Giving the patient choices in responding; Avoiding...

  • Electromagnetic Waves May Protect the Brain.  // Futurist;May/Jun2010, Vol. 44 Issue 3, p2 

    The article reports on a study conducted by the researchers at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center on the effects of the long-term use of cell phones.

  • Facial grimacing is reliable pain indicator.  // Nurse Aide-VIP;Apr2013, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p12 

    The article offers information on several types of expressions exhibited by the elder patients with Alzheimer's disease while they suffer from pain including facial grimacing, sighing and constantly rubbing a body part.

  • Picture-taking activity gives happiness.  // Nurse Aide-VIP;Jan2014, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p12 

    The article discusses a study presented at the American Psychiatric Nurses Association conference in 2013 which revealed that giving older Alzheimer's patients the opportunity to talk about their values make them feel happy and mentions a picture-taking activity for encouraging Alzheimer's elders.

  • Tips for communicating with Alzheimer's elders.  // Nurse Aide-VIP;Jan2014, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p14 

    The article offers suggestions to the caregivers in the U.S. for communicating with elders suffering from Alzheimer's disease which includes calling the elder by name, allowing enough time for a response, and using a gentle calm tone of voice.

  • Reviews: Books. Newton, Mariana // ASHA;Nov94, Vol. 36 Issue 11, p74 

    Reviews the book `Coping With Communication Challenges in Alzheimer's Disease,' by Marie T. Rau.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics