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Links among communication, dementia, and caregiver burden
Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (2012)
  • Barbara Watson, Western University
  • Lisa D Aizawa, Western University
  • Marie Y Savundranayagam
  • JB Orange, Western University
Dementia is a degenerative syndrome that affects multiple mental functions including
cognition and behaviour. Family caregivers of individuals with dementia also experience
the devastating effects of the syndrome on their relatives’ memory, language and
communication. Currently, Canadian family caregivers provide more than fifty percent of
the care for an estimated 500,000 people with dementia. Audiologists and speech-language
pathologists need to be cognizant of the expanding communication, hearing and language
needs of individuals with dementia and their family caregivers. This paper addresses the
complex relationships among communication problems in dementia, the burdens suffered
by family caregivers, and the effects of communication education and training programs
designed to enhance communication and to minimize caregiver burden. The literature shows
clearly that clinicians must include both family caregivers and their relatives with dementia
in comprehensive communication care interventions in order to achieve optimal outcomes.
Moreover, clinicians must provide education and training to caregivers concerning the use of
evidence-derived effective communication, hearing, language and speech strategies to help
reduce caregiver burden.
  • communication,
  • dementia,
  • family caregiving,
  • burden
Publication Date
Citation Information
Barbara Watson, Lisa D Aizawa, Marie Y Savundranayagam and JB Orange. "Links among communication, dementia, and caregiver burden" Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (2012)
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