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Susan Kemper & Kelly Lyons

In: Interpersonal Communication in Older Adulthood: Interdisciplinary Theory and Research

Chapter 4: The Effects of Alzheimer's Dementia on Language and Communication

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The Effects of Alzheimer's Dementia on Language and Communication
The effects of alzheimer's dementia on language and communication
SusanKemperKellyLyons

Among the earliest symptoms of dementia are impairments of language and communication. Spouses and other caregivers note word-finding problems, object-naming difficulties, and comprehension failures as among the first indications of the onset of Alzheimer's disease (Bayles & Tomoeda, 1991; Orange, 1991). Impairments of communication, such as failure to take part in family conversations, failure to start and sustain conversations, and lack of interest in newspapers, magazines, and television, contribute significantly to caregiver stress (Rau, 1991) and lead to feelings of frustration, loneliness, embarrassment, and social isolation (Orange, 1991).

The magnitude of the impact of dementia on language and communication is difficult to determine. Varying definitions and standards of dementia ...

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