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Study Says Caregivers Should Speak to Dementia Patients Like Adults

SHARE Study Says Caregivers Should Speak to Dementia Patients Like Adults

Doctors and researchers are presenting new information on Alzheimer’s disease at a conference in Chicago this week.

Kristine Williams studies the treatment of dementia at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. Recently she looked at how caregivers speak to people with the disease. She says caregivers often use overly nurturing and simplified speech, what she calls “elder-speak.”

WILLIAMS: When the nursing staff used this elderspeak communication, the older adults that had dementia were twice as likely to be resistive to care, to have behaviors indicating they were not cooperating or perhaps unhappy.

Williams will present the study tomorrow at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. There today, doctors also reported news about an impairment that sometimes develops before Alzheimer’s. They say this mild mental decline happens more often than expected. Nearly a million older Americans each year develop it.

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