A. Domagała

Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (POLAND)
In its domain of problems concerning rehabilitation of patients with Alzheimer’s dementia the poster shows the directions of speech therapy treatment and the ways of management specified for this patient group. Patients with Alzheimer’s dementia are a new group of patients, for which methods of speech therapy treatment are currently being developed.
The poster presents the author’s original forms of logopedic interventions in Alzheimer-type dementia. As part of direct treatment (speech therapist – patient relationship) we propose the procedure defined in exercise books “Teraz i Dawniej [Now and Formerly]” and in “Mój kalendarz [My Diary]” – exercises are thematically structured here to correspond with the patient’s personal temporal perspective. Linguistic (and more broadly – mental) exercises in the “Teraz” and “Dawniej” exercise books are conducted in two areas: 1/ the knowledge of the patient’s current situation and the reality, in which he or she now functions (the present, here and now); 2/ the biographical knowledge of facts and events that took place in the past in the patient’s life (the past). “Mój kalendarz” exercises support the process of temporal orientation and reinforce the sense of reality by formally structuring the information about current events in the patient’s life. The procedure shown in the exercises is consistent with therapeutic measures commonly used with dementia-suffering patients as part of the orientation-in-reality training (TOR) and the sense-of-reality training (TR). The paper shows the ways of stimulating narrative behaviors in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia, based on experience gained from the operation of the Lublin’s Alzheimer Association day-care center for patients with dementive diseases as a continuing rehabilitation center (PFRON [National Disabled Persons Rehabilitation Fund] program 2009).
The priority in stimulating the patient’s communication skills is the diagnosis by the speech therapist of 1) the thematic scope of the patient’s utterances produced by the patient him/herself and created in the course of conversation with another person (the patient’s knowledge of reality retained in his/her memory, the possibility of updating information in a specified thematic area), 2) the level of systemic linguistic competence 3/ the level of reading/writing skills. The poster indicates the author’s original Scale of Narrative Skills as a useful diagnostic technique serving to identify communication barriers in the early and moderate stages of Alzheimer’s dementia. Identification of barriers to communication with the patient is one of the problems studied in the research project “Narrative and Its Disorders in the Course of Alzheimer’s Disease. The Scale of Narrative Skills in Alzheimer’s Dementia” (project manager: Dr Aneta Domagała; 39th Ministry of Science and Higher Education competition of research projects).
Logopedic care should become one of the elements of a well-organized system of help for a dementia patient and his/her family.