About the Project

 

We need your help

Your story, your personal experiences and reflections about communication within dementia are important. Help us to assess and better understand public needs, questions and perceptions of language changes associated with Alzheimer’s dementia.

How can I get involved? If you would like to register for a one-to-one interview or ask about other ways to get involved, fill out this short registration survey, email us, or call us at (+44 01206 872101)

Community Responsive and Community Needs Grounded Research

With the increasing public awareness and concern about Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD), this project seeks to expand our community’s understanding of language and communicative changes associated with AD. We are holding workshops and interviews to understand public and patient information needs, which will then feed into our larger research agenda, analyzing natural discourse from healthy aging adults, and patients along the AD diagnostic spectrum. Our output goal is to create user-friendly informational pamphlets and web materials in order to educate and inform the community regarding Alzheimer’s based language and communicative changes.

shutterstock_100688485Our research focus is on how language changes (in what we say and how we say it) and communicative changes (in how we verbally interact with others) may relate to aging, dementia diagnosis and progression. Continued successful communication is an important aspect to maintaining bonds with caregivers, family and friends, and for patients to express internal feelings and changes. However, patients, caregivers and family are often not aware of how language and communication will change with dementia progression, which can lead to increased frustration and stress on all sides.

This project is not in itself diagnostically targeted, nor is it a cognitive intervention to alleviate symptoms–instead, it is designed to complement and support clinical and bio-medical projects by incorporating publicly generated questions and concerns into our research. Our larger goal is to better inform the public and respond to common questions and concerns about how language and communication can change with dementia through public awareness resources for patients, their families and caregivers. Knowledge is one key to improving dementia care: ‘Families need to know what’s likely to happen, and how to cope with things when they go awry.‘ This better prepares both the patient and their family and friends to accept and work with changes as they occur, to find adjusted avenues for successful interaction. This itself can feed into the clinical rehabilitation loop: patients and caregivers who are coping better are more viable for clinical intervention and trials, when diagnostic and medical intervention breakthroughs emerge.

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