The quality of life of individuals with AD is affected by the communication style. Its impact is significant. An study from the University of California at Los Angeles, presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (2008), found that healthy family members’ responses to unanticipated comments from individuals with AD followed predictable patterns. When a response disrupted the flow of conversation, healthy family members often continued to speak as if the person with AD had not spoken or tended to pause, indicating they had heard the comment, but did not respond verbally. Such responses frame the individual with AD as a nonparticipant in the conversation.
“Elderspeak,” defined as overly caring, controlling and infantilizing communication, by caregivers increases resistance to care by nursing home residents with dementia. As AD progresses, individuals have increasing difficulties with communication. These difficulties are related to cognitive changes. This kind of studies should be kept in mind in order to to develop training programs to facilitate conversation.

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