THE RELATION BETWEEN THE PATIENT WITH ALZHEIMER’S DEMENTIA AND THE HEALTHY CO-INTERLOCUTOR. FROM THE LOGOPEDIC PERSPECTIVE
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (POLAND)
The article discusses the problem of the disordered relation between the patient with Alzheimer’s dementia and the healthy co-interlocutor (therapist, caregiver, or a person in the patient’s environment), resulting from the growing intensity of cognitive and non-cognitive disorders in the course of the disease. A set of phenomena was determined, relating to the healthy co-interlocutor in respect of his role in a communication situation and the relation between interlocutors, with the following categories of the patient’s behavior being identified: 1/ Erroneous perception of the co-interlocutor and the relation between the interlocutors a) incorrect recognition (e.g. recognition of the co-interlocutor as a familiar person in the case of meeting for the first time); b) lack of recognition (e.g. directly pointing at the co-interlocutor as a person encountered for the first time during a successive meeting with that person); 2/ The working out of relations between the interlocutors (obtaining information about the co-interlocutor, asking about his first name and surname). The description of the phenomena was completed with the data from experimental studies in a group of 60 patients in a moderate stage of dementia, together with the exemplification of the problems: a record of patients’ verbal behaviors was made that disrupt the communication process in dementia. The findings made in this field may be useful, in particular to caregivers (including professional caregivers of patients) as the basis for psychoeducation and rehabilitation of the patient in daily communication. The studies were carried out as part of a 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; The 39th Competition of Ministry of Science and Higher Education for research projects). In neurologopedics the loss of communication skills as a result of neurodegenerative disease is perceived as a special problem: a separate procedure for logopedic management was defined as a strategy for action showing the therapist how to stabilize the interaction of the patient. Logopedics students train their skills in this area on bachelor’s degree and master’s degree study programs.