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Language Discourse with dementia in mind


Language Discourse with dementia in mind Presented By: Joshua DeAngelo Avery Dr. Boyd Davis Gerontology 5050 Language, Aging and Health University of North Carolina ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Language Discourse with dementia in mind

Language Discourse with dementia in mind
  • Presented By
  • Joshua DeAngelo Avery
  • Dr. Boyd Davis
  • Gerontology 5050
  • Language, Aging and Health
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Spring 2006

Topics of Discussion
  • Aging
  • Dementia
  • Chemotherapy
  • Factors
  • Issues
  • Interventions

  • With life, comes aging a natural process which
    should not be deemed as a negative to society.
    Unfortunately, many societies pessimistically
    identify individuals as they age and as research
    has shown, this can be detrimental to an
    individuals well being.
  • For example, in attempt to reject the aging
    process as much as possible, many Americans seek
    plastic surgery to counterbalance the effects of
    aging. Yet, as this project will show, aging
    should not be rejected, nor should people feel
    pressure from society to reject the natural aging

  • As aging occurs in each of us, we must all be
    prepared to handle what I will call the side
    effects of this process. Here, side effect can
    mean any perimeters that the individual or the
    society create as a constraining mechanism. In
    other words, when a person believes that they are
    too old to participate/do something, then they
    are suffering from the side effects of aging.
    Some research would point the finger at societal
    attributes and social ideologies, while it is
    also important to understand that this idea of
    too old can be based on an individuals cultural
    and ethnic background as well.
  • In many cases, the side effects of aging are not
    as detrimental to either the individual or the
    society, yet some minimize their place in the
    overall scheme of society based on their age.
    This is sad in a lot of cases because it is not
    an absolute. Age should not act as a barrier or
    necessarily a bridge, but ability rather than
    age should be identified as a more accurate
    factor in ones place in society.

  • In America, production is a general key to
    success, thus the American society often gauges
    an individuals value based on their ability.
    Success and productivity are frequently
    understood to be the markers of importance and
    therefore as people age, an inaccurate
    correlation can be disproportionately made.
  • To some, elderly people loose their productive
    value as they age and though this may be true to
    some extent, it is also not an absolute. Some
    sociologists would even note that an elderly
    individuals labor productivity should not be the
    sole qualifier of their social worth. For there
    are many parts to a successful society, and
    ironically elderly individuals metaphorically
    become the pistons that drive the social engine.

  • Since health issues are often associated with
    aging, it is not unusual for negative health
    issues to be viewed as a natural side effect of
    the aging process. Though this is not always
    true for each individual across the board, it can
    be the case for the larger percentage of aging
  • Along with those who face the ordinary obstacles
    of aging, when other severe ailments, such as
    dementia are also present in the body, the
    challenges in communication and autonomy both

  • Individuals with dementia face several factors
    when considering treatment options that are not
    as common to individuals who do not suffer from
    the disorder. This becomes particularly
    important when identifying the use,
    effectiveness, and accuracy of communication
    through language discourse.
  • In many instances, language discourse can be the
    cornerstone of correct and accurate treatment,
    therefore patients with dementia are at high
    risks when language becomes a barrier of
    communication rather than a bridge.

  • To this end, it is important that when studying
    individuals with dementia, factors that encourage
    correct treatment are embraced. Though Dementia
    is seen as a scary disease with no present cure,
    that doesnt mean patients with dementia deserve
    to be treated inhumanely.
  • Unfortunately, along with cognitive skills,
    language and communication functions are also
    affected when dementia intrudes the human mind.
    For physicians and medical professionals, it
    becomes even that much more important to
    accurately assess an individual with dementias
    needs, particularly when they struggle with an
    underlying communication barrier within

  • This treatment uses powerful drugs to kill cancer
    cells. In cases of small cell lung cancer,
    chemotherapy may be used to slow the cancer's
    growth, to prevent it from spreading further, or
    to relieve symptoms and make you more comfortable
    (palliative care).
  • A combination of drugs usually is given in a
    series of treatments over a period of weeks or
    months, with breaks in between so your body can
    recover. Even so, because the drugs damage
    healthy cells along with malignant ones, they can
    cause serious side effects. In fact, for many
    people, side effects from chemotherapy are the
    most disturbing aspect of cancer treatment.

  • Fast-growing cells such as those in your
    digestive tract, bone marrow and hair are
    especially likely to be affected. But although
    side effects are common, their severity depends
    on the drugs used and your response to them.
  • To elderly patients who also suffer from
    dementia, the question becomes, do the benefits
    outweigh the costs?
  • This becomes an extended issue when communication
    may be compromised. Since elderly adults with
    dementia often lack recall and recognition, the
    use of several drugs, particularly in
    chemotherapy can offer additional decision-making
    challenges that arent as prevalent with those
    who do not suffer from dementia.

  • Studies have shown that when communication
    between patient and physician is compromised,
    treatment practices can also be questioned.
    Particularly, in the sensitive area of
    chemotherapy treatments for patients with
    dementia, there are several factors that can
    influence the ethical dilemma of this issue.
  • Mental Issues
  • Understanding what the treatments are for
  • Understanding what the treatments are doing
  • Understanding the side effects of the treatments
  • Physical Issues
  • Inability to sit still for long periods of time
    during treatment

  • Ultimately, many studies have developed similar
    conclusions. In the area of aging, research has
    often shown that individuals who share similar
    backgrounds or ethnic identities may find it
    easier to accurately converse with each other,
    rather than with a person from another cultural
  • As we saw in the metaphor analysis completed
    earlier this semester, even the same phrase can
    be interpreted a variety of ways by several
    different individuals. In medical practices,
    this should also be considered even in everyday
    communication between patient and physician.

  • In accessing language with aging it is also
    imperative to acknowledge the loss of memory
    found with aging adults. It is no secret that
    diagnosing treatment options for cancer patients
    altogether can be challenging in several ways.
    However, specifically when these individuals
    happen to be riddled by dementia, considering the
    mere use of chemotherapy as a treatment option
    can become a tricky and potentially problematic
    decision all to itself.
  • When faced with these obstacles, people with
    dementia need the contributions and support of
    their family and those who care about their
    overall well being. The importance of proactive
    care through advanced directives such as advanced
    care planning becomes all the more vital when
    dealing with people who suffer from the ailments
    caused by dementia.

  • Even when both autonomy and competency become
    questioned, legal procedures such as substituted
    judgment and Power of Attorney allow method for
    the best interest of the individual to be
  • Furthermore, with any aging individual and
    especially those with dementia, along with the
    family and an active support network, they should
    all work as a team in taking proactive steps
    towards accommodating the specific needs of the
    person. I believe if the physicians and medical
    staff are able to fulfill their roles as the
    information providers and caretakers, families
    should also be able to act as positive
    contributors in assisting the person to gain the
    best care available. As stated earlier, family
    involvement and accurate assessments are the key.
    When a persons autonomy and competency are both
    in question, it is the family or guardians
    responsibility to be involved in making sure that
    the individuals well being is satisfied to their
    own personal standards.

  • All in all, I believe the question of should
    chemotherapy be used for people with dementia
    needs to be re-examined. Instead, I would
    suggest that chemotherapy can be used as means to
    assist cancer patients including those with
    dementia only if certain strategies are
    implemented to affectively contribute an
    individuals well being.
  • Inclusive measures should be taken so that the
    individual still feels like a part of the society
    and the society still acknowledges that the
    individual is a key component that keeps the
    societies engine revved up.