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Digital Media Full text available online for free

SCIE research briefing 3: aiding communication with people with dementia

Author:
SOCIAL CARE INSTITUTE FOR EXCELLENCE
Publisher:
Social Care Institute for Excellence
Publication year:
2005
Place of publication:
London
Edition:
Rev. ed.

A web-based briefing providing a concise summary of the current knowledge base on aiding communication with people with dementia. Coverage includes ethical considerations, views of service users and carers, innovative practice examples and implications for practice. Also highlights additional contacts and resources. The briefing was commissioned by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE). The latest edition of this Briefing was produced in April 2005 and the next updated is due in April 2006.

Journal article

Mentalization in dementia care: an autoethnographic account of a project worker’s experiences

Authors:
LUXMOORE Bethany, McEVOY Phil
Journal article citation:
Working with Older People, 21(3), 2017, pp.147-156.
Publisher:
Emerald

Purpose: Mentalization is a psychodynamic concept that can help us to understand our emotional responses to others. The purpose of this paper to illustrate how the concept of mentalization may be applied in dementia care. Design/methodology/approach: An autoethnographic account of the author’s experiences (first author), working as a project manager in which the author used the concept of mentalization to pay close attention to how the author’s emotional responses to people with dementia influenced thier communicative interactions. Findings: This paper outlines how the author processed the author’s own internal experiences in both mentalizing and non-mentalizing modes, as the author wrestled with feelings of conscious incompetence. In the non-mentalizing mode, the author was pre-occupied with the author’s own anxieties. The author struggled to relate to or make sense of the experiences of the individuals with advanced dementia that the author engaged with. Moving towards a mentalizing stance helped the author to attune to the embodied experiences of the people with dementia and recognise the reciprocal nature of our communicative interactions. Originality/value: This paper illustrates the role that mentalization may play in developing natural and authentic strategies to support communicative engagement in dementia care. These strategies may be of potential value to family carers. Family carers who can maintain a mentalizing stance may be more able to respond in empathic, person- centred ways to people who are living with dementia. On the other hand, non-mentalizing responses may be a root cause of mis-understanding and emotional disengagement. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Moderating effect of communication difficulty on the relationship between depression and pain: a study on community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong

Authors:
CHAN Wallace Chi Ho, KWAN Chi Wai, CHI Iris
Journal article citation:
Aging and Mental Health, 19(9), 2015, pp.829-834.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

Objectives: This study examined the relationship between depression and pain, and the moderating effect of communication difficulty on this relationship, among community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong. Method: Logistic regression was used to analyse secondary data regarding 12,402 Chinese older adults applying for long-term care service in Hong Kong in 2012. Results: Approximately 30% of participants were depressed and 37% experienced communication difficulty. Depression was associated with increased pain. Communication difficulty was found to moderate the relationship between depression and pain. Pain scores increased more when individuals who experienced communication difficulty reported being depressed, compared to those who did not experience communication difficulty. Conclusion: The moderating effect of communication difficulty may be explained by the interaction between depression and communication difficulty. Participants who were depressed and concurrently experienced communication difficulty may be more likely to catastrophise their pain and may tend to report or experience more pain. Health care professionals need to be aware of the different effects of communication difficulty on the pain experiences of older adults. Psychosocial intervention may be provided to minimize older adults’ communication barriers to pain management. (Edited publisher abstract)

Journal article

Age-related hearing loss: quality of care for quality of life

Author:
LI-KOROTKY Ha-Sheng
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, 52(2), April 2012, pp.265-271.
Publisher:
Gerontological Society of America

Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is a major public health problem, resulting in reduced speech understanding, for millions of geriatric patients. ARHL is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older Americans, after hypertension and arthritis, and is a leading cause of adult hearing handicaps in the United States. Between 25-40% of the population aged 65 years and older is hearing impaired, and the prevalence is expected to rise with the increasing ageing Baby Boomer population. Despite this, ARHL remains an often undetected, underestimated and neglected condition due to the slow development process of the disease. The consequences of ARHL (social isolation, reduced environmental stimulation and depression) may aggravate cognitive decline. Health care professionals who serve the geriatric population need to understand the fundamental ARHL-associated changes that affect auditory and cognitive processing of speech and aural communication, in order to improve the quality of hearing health care and the overall quality of life of the Baby Boomer generation. The purpose of this review is to raise the awareness of ARHL, to update understanding of ARHL with a focus on age-related deficits in auditory and cognitive processing of speech, and to explore strategies of prevention, identification, amplification, and aural rehabilitation.

Journal article

The effectiveness of the Talking Mats framework in helping people with dementia to express their views on well-being

Authors:
MURPHY Joan, et al
Journal article citation:
Dementia: the International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 9(4), November 2010, pp.454-472.
Publisher:
Sage

Thirty one people at different stages of dementia were interviewed them about their well-being using Talking Mats, a low-tech communication framework, and usual communication methods. The communication effectiveness of each method was compared. Findings revealed that the Talking Mats framework was associated with better communication at all stages of dementia when compared to usual communication methods. Better communication effectiveness was evident in the participants’ understanding, engagement, keeping on-track and ability to make their views understood. There was also less repetitive behaviour and less distractibility when using the Talking Mats framework. The authors conclude that the Talking Mats framework can play an important role in improving communication by providing an accessible, low cost tool which family and staff can use with people with dementia to help them express their views.

Journal article

Older audiences' responses to mental health promotion messages

Authors:
PETTIGREW Simone, DONOVAN Robert
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 11(1), February 2009, pp.23-31.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This study focused on the role of motivation and ability in older audiences' interpretations of mental health promotion messages. The aim was to generate insights into the ways in which older people respond to such messages, to inform the development of mental health promotion communications. Twenty individual interviews and 12 focus groups were conducted with a total of 111  Western Australians aged 40 years and older. Interviewees were exposed to series of mental health messages and asked to share their thoughts and feelings about the message content and style. Data analysis focused on the barriers and facilitators that influenced interviewees' acceptance of the mental health recommendations contained in the messages. The major themes evident in the data were a desire to exhibit compliance, the importance of perceived personal relevance, sensitivity to the tone of the message, literal interpretations of message content and impediments to adoption. Implications for mental health are discussed.

Book Full text available online for free

The need for a common language to describe older people's housing

Author:
HOUSING CORPORATION
Publisher:
Housing Corporation
Publication year:
2008
Pagination:
3p.
Place of publication:
London

A discussion paper from phase one of the Towards a Common Currency project noted that elderly people are often confused by the definitions and descriptions used to describe housing and other support. In this part of the project researchers discovered that most social housing landlords did not give sufficiently detailed descriptions of housing developments or schemes to elderly people or those acting on their behalf.

Journal article

Communication and dementia: how effective is the Talking Mats approach?

Authors:
COX Sylvia, MURPHY Joan, GRAY Cindy
Journal article citation:
Journal of Dementia Care, 16(3), May 2008, pp.35-38.
Publisher:
Hawker

This article gives the background and sets out key findings of a research project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The study examined the effectiveness of Talking Matts, a low-technology communication framework to help people with dementia to express themselves, compared to other communication methods. Participants were recruited through dementia service providers and residential care homes in central Scotland. Results found that Talking Mats enabled  people with moderate and late stage dementia to communicate their views more readily than either ordinary or structured conversation. The framework appeared to offer a valuable resource to people with dementia, family carers and care practitioners.

Book

Person centred thinking with older people: practicalities and possibilities

Authors:
BOWERS Helen, et al
Publisher:
HSA Press
Publication year:
2007
Pagination:
95p.
Place of publication:
Stockport

This book is compiled specifically for people who work with older people. Older people want real choices and the responsibility to choose the best possible lifestyle for them with the support they need. This book of person centred thinking tools gives you an opportunity to start supporting older people to lead the lives they want by offering practical ways to gather information and to start to set actions that make a real difference. Sections covered include: Appreciations, Relationships, Sorting important to/for, Communication, Histories, Wishing, Good days and bad days and Working/not working.

Journal article

Implications of an advice-giving and teacher role on language production in adults with dementia

Authors:
DIJKSTRA Katinka, et al
Journal article citation:
Gerontologist, 46(3), June 2006, pp.357-366.
Publisher:
Gerontological Society of America

The two studies described in this paper assessed whether adults with dementia could assume an advice-giving role (Study 1) and a teacher role (Study 2) despite their cognitive impairments. In Study 1, a within-groups design was used in order to compare language production in advice-giving and social conversation conditions. In Study 2, a between-groups design was used in order to compare language production in older adults with and without dementia. Measures in Study 1 were the occurrence of imperatives, discourse-building components, and discourse deficits. Measures in Study 2 yielded information on teacher-role implementation, cooking-related discourse, general discourse, discourse deficits, and experimenter-related discourse. The results found role-consistent discourse components in Study 1 as indicated by the number of imperatives in the advice-giving condition. Additionally, discourse production showed a higher occurrence of discourse builders and a lower occurrence of discourse deficits in the advice-giving than in the social conversation condition. Findings in Study 2 indicated that both cognitively intact older adults and adults with dementia successfully taught students to prepare the recipes. However, the experimenter needed to prompt the adults with dementia more often than they did the older adults without dementia in order to get them to finish the cooking task. Both studies demonstrate that preserved discourse and role-related abilities in adults with dementia may allow these individuals to engage in interactions involving active, established social roles. This outcome may contribute to the establishment of effective practices in which adults with dementia can demonstrate preserved skills during activities and in social interactions with others.

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