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Person-Centered Communication Strategies and Interventions in Dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tony Young


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The long-term care context and the cognitive impairments associated with dementia present unique challenges for the promotion of person-centered care among nursing home residents. Social interaction plays a pivotal role in the maintenance of a resident’s identity and nursing home staff are often the sole source of social interaction for residents. Given insufficient staff training, most staff communication with residents tends to be task-focused, directive, and/or patronizing. Behavioral problems, such as resistiveness to care and agitation, have been linked to such communication. Therefore, improving communication between long-term care staff and residents is a critical component of person-centered care. One of the challenges with implementing person-centered approaches in long-term care is the lack of specificity in how to communicate in a person-centered manner. As such, this symposium will include research on evidence-based communication strategies and interventions that enable long-term care staff to support the uniqueness of residents. Each presenter will provide examples of person-centered strategies from audio or video recordings of staff communication during routine care. In addition, presentations will identify structural barriers to the implementation of new communication skills in nursing home practice and discuss strategies to overcome them.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Manthorp C, Young TJ

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gernontological Society of America

Year of Conference: 2011