Module 5 - Making Changes

Video 6 of 17
4 min 57 sec

In life, the fear of the word dementia is often caused by the media, but it is also caused by people who have little or no understanding or even training in what happens when a person has a diagnosis, therefore, some people are just not prepared to make the required changes. They then tell others of the challenges they face when trying to support a loved one with dementia, and they seem only to remember the bad times and not the good. This is where the expression, "Suffering with dementia," comes from. Once you become a dementia interpreter, you will no longer accept the use of the word "suffering" again.

No one has to suffer with dementia, but we have to increase our levels of understanding, and by doing so, we will be able to reconnect with a person, because we will be able to make traditional and common mistakes a thing of the past. And by understanding their language, this will help. We need to empower them and give them back their voice, even if they have lost the ability to speak. I want to talk about a condition that is very common within dementia, it is rarely talked about, and most care staff are not trained to it. Next time you meet a person who works in care, please ask them what the word aphasia means. It is important because if you have a loved one with dementia, or maybe work with people who have dementia, you will probably find that they start to struggle with words or getting words out. 

It is as if they can not get their words out or maybe just jumble their words around. This is caused by a condition called aphasia and can present at any time in their dementia, sometimes early stage, very common in mid-stage, but by the time end-of-life care comes, most will have aphasia of some kind. There are two types of aphasia that we need to focus on. The first is expressive aphasia, this is the loss of the ability to speak. The second is receptive aphasia, the loss of understanding. For people with dementia, it is as if you are being spoken to in a language that you do not understand, and then talked to in a language you have never heard before. So now think about the following, how would it feel if you lived in a home where no one speaks your language and you do not speak theirs?

We have talked a lot about social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, but for people with dementia, social isolation is an everyday event. It is obvious that the result of not being able to have a conversation is going to have a huge impact on the individual. How would you feel if you could not talk to anyone?

We need to stop social isolation by improving our knowledge of how we speak with people with dementia. Unfortunately, there is so much to know about aphasia that it is a complete lesson on its own.

To help you with this, we have included aphasia as one of our free monthly modules that you will automatically receive after this course. Please make sure you complete your feedback form at the end of the course, and this will give us permission to stay in contact with you and send additional modules and learning. Details on where to find this feedback form will be given at the end of this course.