Forgetting things here and there is a natural part of aging. However, when forgetfulness turns into something that affects one’s quality of life, it may be dementia.
Many people have heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but there are other types of dementia, such as Parkinson’s disease dementia, Huntington’s disease, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies.
What Is Dementia?
Dementia is a term for a disease that causes a loss of thinking skills, like memory and problem solving, that affects the ability to perform everyday tasks. This is also known as cognitive impairment.
It is caused by damage or changes in the brain. Risks of developing dementia increase as you get older. Symptoms get worse over time, but each person is affected differently.
How Is Communication Impaired in People with Dementia?
Communication is one skill that that is often affected by dementia. Changes in language can happen in the early stages of dementia.
Early signs of cognitive impairment, related to communication, include having difficulty telling a coherent story, finding the right words, getting to the point of a story, or misunderstanding complex information.
These issues can have a big impact on a person’s ability to participation in and complete everyday activities. Changes in cognition and communication can also place additional stress on family members and caregivers. Cognitive impairment leads many dementia patients to avoid social situations and can compromise their overall health, independence, and safety.
How Can Communication Skills in Patients With Dementia Be Treated / Improved?
Proper management of communication skills can slow down cognitive changes, so patients can maintain more independence and experience a better quality of life.
Custom cognitive exercises that promote neuroplasticity, or brain health, as well as physical exercise, speech therapy, and caregiver training among other methods help patients suffering from dementia.
Speech therapy helps improve cognitive function, and thus communication, through the use of memory and word-finding strategies.
There is ofen an ongoing need for speech therapy from the early through late stages of the disease. Speech therapy treatment techniques and recommendations are personalized and updated as dementia progresses, to maintain functional independence as long as possible.
Where Can I Get Treatment for Cognitive Communication Impairment for People With Dementia in Maryland?
At Adult Speech Therapy Services, we pair research-based speech therapy specifically for dementia patients with cognitive brain exercises and other individualized treatments to promote wellness, reduce social isolation, and improve overall quality of life.
Contact us today at 301-323-8486 to schedule an appointment with a specialist to ensure your loved one receives the very best in cognitive communication care through speech therapy and other services!a
Individuals with dementia can benefit from cognitive therapy in order to maintain and even improve cognitive-communication skills, and to support independence and social engagement. I am a Certified Dementia Practitioner®.
Learning brain exercises to promote neuroplasticity (brain healing/brain health)
Learning compensatory strategies to improve daily function and independence
A customized home exercise program
Family and caregiver education and training
Community resources and additional recommendations