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External Memory Aids and Memory Books for Memory Loss

presented by Jeanette E. Benigas, PhD, CCC-SLP

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Jeanette Benigas receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. She also receives royalty payments from Health Professions Press for the publication of the book Spaced Retrieval Step by Step: An Evidence-Based Memory Intervention.

Nonfinancial: Jeanette Benigas has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 50 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 30 Minutes

Speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists often lack evidence-based interventions that assist people with memory impairment to compensate for their loss. More specifically, helping people with dementia can be challenging and can sometimes leave a clinician feeling like nothing can be done at all. This course, based on the lifelong work of Michelle Bourgeois, PhD, CCC-SLP, will help clinicians gain an understanding of how to create and use external memory aids and memory books to help people with dementia stay connected and improve independent functioning and safety. Every chapter includes relevant examples and ideas of how to incorporate these concepts into therapy for improved treatment outcomes.

Meet Your Instructor

Jeanette E. Benigas, PhD, CCC-SLP

Jeanette E. Benigas is the owner of Safe Swallowing Diagnostics, a mobile FEES company serving Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Her extensive clinical experience has included work with adults in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, post-acute rehabilitation, long-term care, home health, and outpatient settings. Benigas's research interests include improving the quality of life for persons with…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Memory Aids to Enhance Conversation

Memory aids can be thought of as a prosthetic device, like glasses for seeing better, hearing aids for hearing better, or dentures for eating better. When memory function is lost, a person’s dependence on others increases. A memory aid can help to decrease dependence and improve quality of life. This chapter will help the clinician screen for the appropriateness of a memory aid to enhance conversation, learn how to design a memory aid according to the research, and identify how to enhance conversation using memory aids, with a demonstration to support learning and implementation.

2. Orientation

Orientation to person, place, and time is often impaired because of memory loss. External memory aids are an effective way to address these needs within a care community or at home. This chapter will help the clinician identify how to use memory aids to enhance orientation and wayfinding for people with memory loss. Sample goals, a demonstration, and more than a dozen examples are shown for implementation.

3. Wants, Needs, and Safety

Person-centered care continues to be the focus of all healthcare environments. One avenue a clinician can take to meet this demand is supporting a patent’s wants and needs while supporting or improving safety. This chapter will show clinicians how to use memory aids to improve communication of wants, needs, and safety for people with memory loss. Relevant examples are shown and sample goals provided.

4. Increasing Engagement and Activity

Many individuals with memory impairment seem to lose interest in their familiar hobbies or activities and seem apathetic or depressed about life. They may not remember the activities they would enjoy, remember the words to describe what they would like to do, or recognize or understand the words used to invite them to participate. As in other chapters, memory supports can help to increase interest and engagement. This chapter will discuss these supports, with the provision of examples, challenges, and solutions and a demonstration to support learning and implementation.

5. Modifying Challenging Behaviors

People experiencing memory impairment commonly repeat questions and engage in other challenging behaviors as impairment progresses. This chapter explores strategies for determining the resident's underlying need, and ideas for redirecting residents toward meaningful activities. The chapter provides examples of using memory books, cue cards, and other tools to remediate challenging behaviors.

6. Memory Aids in Care Communities

In many care communities, clinicians are asked to complete person-centered dementia care programs to improve communication or reduce behaviors. It may be expected that the therapist make recommendations or develop person-centered activities or programs geared toward each resident's identified need. This chapter will give a plethora of examples of how to successfully execute these programs and work with care teams to support your efforts.

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