Communication and Aging
Course content includes the study of: biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of communication in normal aging and in a variety of disorders of speech, language, cognition, and hearing that affect elderly adults; diagnostic and treatment issues related to communication in aging; political, cultural, economic, and national health care issues affecting the delivery of services to assist elderly adults with communication disorders; expansion of career. opportunities in geriatric communication disorders.
A large focus of this offering of HSS 733 will be on its service-learning component. Service- learning is an experiential teaching/learning approach that emphasizes active, engaged learning integrated with socially responsible practice. It involves dynamic, interactive learning through a mutual arrangement between the student and the student’s community. Service-learning is not volunteering. It involves the engagement in a service activity that relates directly to course content, and learning of course content is directly enhanced by the service-learning experience.
All students in HSS 733 this term are required to be engaged in a service-learning project. In light of the fact that students taking this course will have a variety of backgrounds, interests, and career goals, the nature of specific ~ service-learning activities will be individualized. Each student’s service-learning plan will include a minimum of four contact hours per week, to be spent interacting with an elderly person (or group) experiencing difficulty with some aspect of communication, and/or with caretakers. This time includes time spent. on the service-learning site and/or with the individuals to whom a student is offering a service. This time does not include the time spent reading, researching, planning, driving, etc., away from the actual servicelearning experience. Some examples of relevant service-learning contexts are nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and support groups for special populations of aging adults. It is expected that students will plan for the majority of their service experiences to be carried out on Fridays, in order to reduce clinical practicum scheduling conflicts and to facilitate participation of the instructor in some of the service-learning activities.
The service-learning component is intended to enrich the lives of students by: (a) providing real-world experience to make course content relevant, and (b) enabling students to complete projects that maybe incorporated in a professional portfolio, resume and/or publication. Through participation in the service-learning component as it is integrated with course content, students should be able to articulate educated viewpoints and propose plans of action as advocates for elderly people with communication disorders and their families. Additionally, there will be personal mutual enrichment among students, elderly individuals, and caregivers as a result of the service-learning experience.
Some suggested types of service-learning experiences:
– Complete a life review diary and develop reminiscence materials with an individual with early signs of dementia
– Organize a local advocacy campaign to address an important Medicare issue
– Establish a caregiver relief network for families/caregivers of persons with dementia
– Initiate a support group for elderly persons with specific communication problems
– Create an informational video to assist a specific elderly population or caregivers
– Assess the communicative environment of a long-term care facility, and recommend improvements
– Assess and develop an action plan for a “problem” patient in a nursing home environment
– Development of a battery of memory aids for particular individuals
– Develop and implement an in-service on a particular communication issue for a support group or for staff/caregivers
Description of proposed service-learning experience
Proposal of topic for literature review/term paper
Summary ofjournal: Reflections on service-learning experiences
Course participation: Discussions of assigned readings and of service-learning experiences
Literature review/term paper
Presentation of literature review/term paper to the class, including handout
Description of proposed service-learning experience 5 points
Some suggested topic areas for literature review/term paper
– Working with caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease (and/or other dementing illnesses)
– Efficacy of speech-language pathology treatments for persons with dementia
– Problems of differential diagnosis (e.g., problems of memory, cognition, speech, language, hearing, auditory processing, vision, etc. in particular elderly populations)
– Group treatments for communication deficits in specific elderly populations
– Home-based treatments for communication deficits in specific elderly populations
– Methods for training caregivers in communication strategies for improving
– Advocating for elderly patients with communication problems in the face of managed care’s challenges
Summary of Journal: Reflections on service-learning experiences 35 points
Pashek, G. (1998). University training imperatives for preparing speech-language pathologists for the 21st century: Management of geriatric populations. Hears (1),10-13.
Davis,- C. M. (1996). Psychosocial aspects of aging. In Lewis, C. B. (Ed.), Aging: The Health care challenge: an interdisciplinary approach to assessment and rehabilitation management of the el 3rd edition. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.
Maxim, J., & Bryan, K. (1994). Ageing and communication. In Language of the elderly: A Clinical perspective. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
Obler, L. K., Au, R., & Albert, M. L. Language and aging. In Huntley, R. A., & Helfer, K. S. (Eds.) Communication in later life. Boston: Betterworth-Heineman.
Jackson, J. J.5 & Ensley, D. E. (1995). Minority elders really ain’t all alike. In Huntley, R. A., & Helfer, K. S. (Eds.) Communication in later life. Boston: Betterworth-Heineman.
Query, J. L & James, A. (1989). The relationship between interpersonal communication competence and social support among elderly support groups in retirement communities. Health communication
Holland, A. I., & Bartlett, C. L. (1985). Some differential effects of age on stroke-produced aphasia. In Ulatowska, H.K. (Ed.) The aging brain: Communication in the elderly . San Diego: College-Hill Press.
Ripich, D. N. (1995). Differential diagnosis and assessment. In Lubinski, R. (Ed.) Dementia and Communication. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
Rau, M. T. (1995). Impact on Families. In Lubinski, R. (Ed.), Dementia and Communication. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
Lubinski, R. (1995). Environmental considerations for elderly patients. In Lubinski, R. (Ed.) Dementia and Communication. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
Weinstein. B. E. (1995). Auditory testing and rehabilitation of the hearing impaired. In Lubinski, R. (Ed.), Dementia and Communication. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
Phillippi, L. M. (1996). Medicare documentation: The paperwork challenge. In Lewis, C. B. (Ed.), Aging: The Health care chal , an interdisciplinary approach to assessment and rehabilitation management of the elderly. 3rd edition. Philadelphia: F. A. Davis Company.
Clark, L. W. & Witte, K. (1995). Nature and efficacy of communication management in Alzheimer’s disease. In Lubinski, R. (Ed.) Dementia and Communication. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
Bourgeois, M. (1993). Effects of memory aids on the dyadic conversations of individuals with dementia. Journal of applied behavior analysis, 26. 77-87.
Palmer, C. V. (1995). Improvement of hearing function. In Huntley, R. A.5 & Helfer, K. S. (Eds.) Communication in later life. Boston: Betterworth-Heineman.
Huntley, R. A. Promoting and preserving elders’ communication skills. In Huntley, R. A., & Helfer, K. S. (Eds.) Communication in later life. Boston: Betterworth-Heineman.
Koury, L. N., & Lubinski, R. Effective in-service training for staff working with communication impaired patients. In Lubinski, R. (Ed.) Dementia and Communication. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
Professor: Brooke Hallowell
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