Alzheimer’s patients progressively lose the ability to successfully communicate with their caregivers, friends and family. Some of these changes relate to memory–often more recent events are harder to access (and hence to talk about) than long term memories (e.g. those of childhood or as a young adult).
Communication is a two-way street: as roles change (e.g. from partner to carer), how we interact can also change. As well, carers often face increased stress, which can feed into how they interact with people with dementia. We are interested in facilitating understanding of these changes, to support more successful conversational interactions. We are also interested in developing a better understanding of these patterns from the perspective of people living with dementia–while there is advice for carers, it is less common is to find communication advice that is designed to support individuals living well with dementia.