Communication Is Key in Dementia Treatment; the Number of People Diagnosed with Dementia Is Set to Soar in the Coming Years. Here, Dr Alison Stroud, Country Policy Officer for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Looks at the Importance of Communication in Helping Those with the Condition

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), May 19, 2014 | Go to article overview

Communication Is Key in Dementia Treatment; the Number of People Diagnosed with Dementia Is Set to Soar in the Coming Years. Here, Dr Alison Stroud, Country Policy Officer for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Looks at the Importance of Communication in Helping Those with the Condition


DEMENTIA is fast becoming one of the biggest health and social care challenges facing the world at this time.

New gures reveal that the number of people with dementia worldwide is set to soar from 44 million to 76 million by 2030. It is the most feared health condition in the over 55s and the chance of developing dementia increases signicantly with age.

One in 14 people over 65, and one in six people over 80 has dementia. e number of people with dementia in care homes increased from 56% to 70% between 1991 and 2011 while a quarter of acute hospital beds are in use by people with dementia at any one time e role of speech and language therapists in the diagnosis and care of patients with dementia is often overlooked. As a consequence, very few communication services are commissioned for those who need them most.

communicating our needs, wishes and feelings is vital - not only to improve our quality of life, but also to preserve our sense of identity. Dementia causes communication di!culty for the person with dementia, communication di!culty for carers and eating, drinking and swallowing di!culties.

Speech and language therapists work in a variety of settings to contribute to the care of people with dementia such as specialist memory services, hospital wards and community services. But a recent survey by the Royal College of Speech and Language erapists (RCSLT) found that local decision makers commission very few communication services for people with dementia.

e RCSLT has made the Dementia Campaign its top priority this year. We are calling on governments, care commissioners, budget holders and care providers to: Recognise the communica-|tion and eating, drinking and swallowing needs of people with dementia Ensure people with dementia |have access to the speech and language therapy services they need Set the highest standards for | the education and training of health professionals, residential and home care sta to understand the communication di!-culties experienced by people with dementia and to ensure they have the professional speech and language therapy support they need Provide education, support | and training for health professionals, care home and agency sta to identify the early signs of eating, drinking and swallowing di! …

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Communication Is Key in Dementia Treatment; the Number of People Diagnosed with Dementia Is Set to Soar in the Coming Years. Here, Dr Alison Stroud, Country Policy Officer for the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Looks at the Importance of Communication in Helping Those with the Condition
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