Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Links Among Communication, Dementia and Caregiver Burden

Author(s) Barbara Watson, Editor
Lisa Dawn Aizawa
Marie Y. Savundranayagam
J.B. Orange
Volume 36
Number 4
Year 2012
Page(s) 276-283
Language English
Abstract Dementia is a degenerative syndrome that affects multiple mental functions including cognition and behaviour. Family caregivers of individuals with dementia also experience the devastating effects of the syndrome because of their relatives’ memory, language and communication problems. Currently, Canadian family caregivers provide more than fifty percent of the care for an estimated 500,000 people with dementia. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists need to be cognizant of the expanding communication, hearing and language needs of individuals with dementia and their family caregivers. This paper addresses the complex relationships among communication problems in dementia, the burdens suffered by family caregivers, and the effects of communication education and training programs designed to enhance communication and to minimize caregiver burden. The literature shows clearly that clinicians must include both family caregivers and their relatives with dementia in comprehensive communication care interventions in order to achieve optimal outcomes. Moreover, clinicians must provide education and training to caregivers concerning the use of evidence-derived effective communication, hearing, language and speech strategies to help reduce caregiver burden.

La démence est un syndrome dégénératif qui affecte de multiples fonctions mentales, dont la cognition et le comportement. Les personnes atteintes de démence éprouvent des problèmes de mémoire, de langage et de communication. Ces problèmes ont également des effets dévastateurs chez les proches des personnes atteintes de ce syndrome. Présentement, les soignants familiaux canadiens dispensent plus de cinquante pour cent des soins à des personnes atteintes de démence, dont on évalue le nombre à 500 000. Les audiologistes et les orthophonistes se doivent d’être au courant des besoins croissants au plan de la communication, de l’audition et du langage des personnes atteintes de démence et de leurs soignants familiaux. Cet article traite des relations complexes entre les problèmes de communication reliés à la démence, la charge imposée aux soignants familiaux et les effets des programmes d’éducation et de formation en communication conçus pour améliorer la communication et minimiser la charge des soignants. La littérature montre clairement que les cliniciens doivent inclure autant les soignants familiaux que leurs personnes atteintes de démence dans leurs interventions visant la communication globale afin d’atteindre des résultats optimaux. De plus, les cliniciens doivent renseigner et former les soignants concernant l’utilisation de stratégies efficaces dérivée de preuves dans les domaines de la communication, de l’audiologie et de l’orthophonie pour aider ceux-ci à réduire la charge infligée aux soignants.
Record ID 1113
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