In addition to interventions involving memory cueing and learning strategies, strategies that incorporate the physical and social environment of persons experiencing dementia to improve outcomes can be highly effective. In this course, Dr. Ellen Hickey outlines aspects of the physical and social environments that impact persons with dementia. Next, participants are given the tools to use these aspects of clients’ environments to improve functioning, including modifications to the living spaces of clients, and training for communication partners of persons with dementia (facility staff, family members, and volunteers).
Ellen Hickey is an associate professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She received her doctorate in speech language pathology from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA in 2000. Dr. Hickey's teaching focuses on motor speech disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, and the treatment of cognitive and language disorders in adults. Dr. Hickey's research focuses on topics in aphasia, dementia, traumatic brain injury, and communication and participation after brain trauma. She is a member of several ASHA special interest groups including Neurogenics and Neurophysiology, Gerontology, and Global Issues in Communication Disorders and Sciences.
In the first chapter of this course, participants will learn to apply social models to the treatment of persons with dementia and identify tools to assess the physical and social environment.
In this chapter, with tools for assessing the physical environment established, participants will learn to incorporate changes to lighting, acoustics, furniture, music and even the addition of plants and animals in supportive environments for persons experiencing dementia.
In the final chapter of this course, participants will learn to apply their assessment of clients’ social environments. Participants will be able to describe the evidence for partner training, be able to explain partner training approaches for family and staff, and describe the use of volunteers to promote additional engagement for persons with dementia.