Kathryn Kilpatrick
Geriatric Communication Consultant          Speech-Language Pathologist Memory Fitness Coach           Author              Motivational Speaker

www.connectionsincommunication.com           www.memoryfitnessmatters.com   

Resources for healthcare professionals of older adults

as well as families, friends, caregivers, volunteers and faith communities.

  

CURRENT NEWSLETTER

MAY 2013  

MAY IS BETTER SPEECH AND HEARING MONTH


As a speech-language pathologist since 1969, I would like to highlight my profession
and the outstanding resource it is for those with hearing, swallowing, communication and 
cognitive deficits. By increasing the awareness of our services and resources, you will be
more aware of ways we can better help  you serve the needs of older adults. 

" It is the position of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play a primary role in the screening, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and research of cognitive-communication disorders, 
including those associated with dementia."  
 

"An estimated 4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, a number that has doubled since 1980. Given the growth in the number of older adults in the United States, the high incidence and prevalence of dementia in this population, and the negative impact of dementia on cognitive-communication abilities, appropriate assessment and intervention are critical."  ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FOCUS ON HEARING LOSS  
"Approximately one third of Americans between ages 65 and 74 and nearly half of those over age 75 have hearing loss. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults. Unfortunately, only 20% of those individuals who might benefit from treatment actually seek help." Read Article: Untreated Hearing Loss in Adults

Additional information
: ARTICLE AND BLOGS ON HEARING LOSS with tips, strategies and activity modification.  
Also consider these 2 courses available to all on hearing loss and activity modification if you are looking for practical tips. 

 

REHABILITATION PRODUCTS  

Therapy Guides for Language Disorders   Volumes 1 - 5   DETAILS and SAMPLE PAGESThese products have been widely used nationally by Speech-Langauge Pathologists for decades.

 

NATIONAL APHASIA ASSOCIATION  

The National Aphasia Association (NAA) is a nonprofit organization that promotes public education, research, rehabilitation and support services to assist people with aphasia and their families.

Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and most people with aphasia experience difficulty reading and writing. More about Aphasia  and  Primary Progressive Aphasia   

 "Voices of Aphasia"  -  Check out the series of short videos about aphasia, Primary Progressive Aphasia, and all of the individuals that aphasia effects on YouTube. Click here to view the videos

 

 PROGRAM FOR ALL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS  

Home Sweet Home: Walking their Journey through the Stages of Dementia  

Most older adults prefer to return to their own home whenever possible after a hospitalization or rehab. In order to maximize the quality of life of all involved, it is essential to make modifications if there are also difficulties with hearing, vision, speech, memory, or cognition. Being proactive involves taking a look at the bigger picture including safety concerns and the status of the care partners while addressing ways to enhance communication, activity involvement and quality of life. Contact Kathryn for further information if you would like to bring this program to your group.

 

RESOURCES ON BRAIN INJURY  

Lash & Associates Publishing/Training Inc. has a new informative magazine Brain Injury Journey – Hope, Help, Healing for the entire brain injury community. It is offered in two formats - free email subscription or paid print subscription.  SIGN UP    

ECAT for DEMENTIA CARE   

For Speech-Language Pathologists, Nurses, and Occupational Therapists
As communication skills decline in people with dementia, a supportive environment becomes crucial to a resident's ability to express needs and desires. But how do you recognize what physical and social changes will help improve functioning, communication, and quality of life? The Environment & Communication Assessment Toolkit (ECAT) for Dementia Care is an evidence-based toolkit. It includes the tools you need to assess, intervene, and modify on an individualized basis to ensure the quality of life for people with dementia.More  In three easy-to-follow steps, the ECAT Assessment Forms help you 

• Identify activity performance deficits with quick yes/no questions
• Evaluate the environment to identify barriers and problems
• Pinpoint individualized recommendations for intervention

 

COMING FALL 2013 CABLE TV PROGRAM   Memory Matters for ALL ages

With the increased concerns about memory loss, Memory Fitness Matters will be working with a local cable station to provide a weekly 15 minute program with memory tips. resources and brain teasers.  This will compliment the weekly memory fitness blog with a tip that provides important strategies to enhance memory fitness and promotes successful aging habits. Details will be provided in the fall on how you can watch these programs and share with your clients as they become available. 

 

RESOURCE LINKS            

              Eldercare Articles and Blogs            Memory Fitness Blogs                                  

 

Products Upcoming
Schedule
Presentations and More 
Webinars   Consultations    More Resources

 

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.   Sally Koch  

____________________________________________________________

JANUARY 2013   NEWSLETTER


WHAT'S NEW

Looking for some practical ways to give your memory a boost? So much information and so many suggestions. You see areas where you could make some improvements but then time gets away from you. Sound familiar? Consider my newest program. OVERVIEW VIDEO SEGMENT

 

CREATING A 7 DAY MEMORY FITNESS PLAN

 How is it different? Each day of the week has a unique focus. There was a time when people created a routine where a person would do the same chore each day of the week. Perhaps washing on Monday, ironing on Tuesday, cleaning on Wednesday was a typical pattern.

If you do that with the keys to memory fitness for a few months, the overall awareness of your patterns and your choices may improve. Subscribe to the weekly tip in my memory fitness blog              as another way to reinforce those improved habits you are working to establish.

 

What is in the 7 day plan?

Monday - attitude 
Tuesday - paying attention 
Wednesday - lifestyle choices 
Thursday - strategies 
Friday - socialize 
Saturday - brain games 
Sunday - balance

This is a great individual program for anyone but also can be modified for groups. It can also be effectively used with senior groups and those diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment.  

The 7 Day Memory Fitness Plan could become part of a wellness program in a corporation to increase awareness about memory while providing practical strategies to decrease the stress of overload and the errors that can result from distractions.


HOLIDAY AND TRAVEL PLANS: WHEN A LOVED ONE HAS DEMENTIA

Sooner rather than later those holidays will be upon us but the time to start looking at the needed modifications when a loved one has dementia is now. Anticipating some of the possible concerns, including when traveling, and making some proactive choices can help things to run more smoothly and be less stressful. Flexibility and possibly creating new traditions are a few of the keys.

When I realized my mother was starting to struggle with holiday preparations and events, I made the choice to go back home ahead of the holidays to Massachusetts and provide some support and assistance. With her hearing and memory changes, her ability to participate at the same level was changing. For most of her life she wrote detailed letters in her Christmas cards and that became more challenging so together we created the familiar Christmas letter, leaving room initially for her to write a short note and later just for her signature.

For additional areas of concern and ways to be proactive, refer to the Holidays:When a Loved One has Dementia and the blogs on related topics. Consider sharing this information with others who may be walking the journey with a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. I look back fondly on some of the memories that we created when the patterns of previous years required some modifications.


WALKING THEIR JOURNEY: CREATING TIME WELL SPENT

Sometimes it is a challenge to know what to say and do when visiting if a person has Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. Knowing a person's story as well as their interests and how to modify some of the activities they might enjoy will enhance the quality of time you spend together. For those that live out of town, ideas to help keep that connection going across the miles can make an significant difference. For more information about how to bring these programs to your area, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For additional tips, refer to the Creating Meaningful Visits article and blog topic list. If you are visiting a loved one in a nursing home, IDEAS for a Better Visit might be a helpful resource. Looking for a practical gift for a caregiver, consider the Communication Connection Resource Kit.

 

COMING SOON - 2 REMINISCENCE RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES AND HEALTH CARE PROFSSIONALS

These were so much fun to create and I am excited to make them available in a workbook format with an accompanying CD. Several of my patients with some memory or speech challenges have been telling their loved ones stories they had forgotten when reading the information of happenings in the 20th century triggered memories.

 

The Reminiscence Calendar has a page for each day of the year, taking you back to a happening on that day as well birthdays of famous people and conversation starters. Activity professionals and speech-language pathologists will appreciate the memory teasers and a place for daily reminders. It was a walk down memory lane for my lifetime plus reminders of what was happening as my parents and grandparents were growing up. Available February 1, 2013.  Details and Sample Pages


The Century in Review
has a page for each year of the 20th century. There are three happenings for that year, conversation starters and a list of popular items for each year as well. You will be amazed to learn when products you are familiar with were actually introduced. Available February 2013. Sample Page

 

RESOURCES

HELPLINE TO ASSIST TRAVELERS

If you are traveling by airplane with a person with medical disabilities or medical conditions, you may want to take advantage of the free helpline designed to assist travelers with information of screening policies and procedures. Call TSA Cares at 855-787-2227.

 

EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM

Frequently I will recommend an emergency response system when assessing a patient receiving home health care. Many have them already, frequently cannot afford the monthly fee, or feel there is no need. Recently one of my patients cancelled their landline and cannot use their emergency response system any longer. Our discussions begin with their desire to remain independent. The key to that is safety.

 

Last year one of my clients showed me the 5 Star Urgent Response device he was using. I found it to be the answer in many situations because it has a GPS. It is worn all the time so a person can use it outside the home as well. When you set it up you can also contact them and have a record created with all of your medical information. Whether a person has a fall or medical emergency at another person's home, in the parking garage or when taking a walk around the neighborhood, they can get help. It is also excellent if a person gets lost when driving or has car trouble.

 

Several families are having the discussion about giving up the car keys with a loved one and have purchased this device to provide them with some peace of mind in the meantime. I can recall several situations where someone has wandered from home, made a wrong turn coming out of the bathroom in an airport or got lost driving. It would have been helpful if they were using this type of device.

 

CAREGIVER STRESS

With the upcoming holidays, it seems like the additional activities can add to the stress of your already busy schedules. Take a moment to look at the article and blogs on this topic so that you can have a better perspective on what may be going on with a friend or family member and how you might be able to provide some support, especially with your increased understanding. Because You Care - What to do when you do not know what to do offers a multitude of ideas and can be the gift that keeps on giving.

  

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared. BUDDA  
 

___________________________________________________
 

May 2012 

 

DRIVING CONCERNS - RESOURCE

A friend called me recently with an all too familiar story. His 80-year old aunt was still driving and there was some concern about whether or not this was a good idea. She insisted she was fine but twice in the last month she went grocery shopping and returned hours later, once without any groceries. No one wanted to be the one to have the "conversation" about giving up the car keys. I clearly recall the times I talked with my mother about this same topic many years ago.

The Alzheimer's Association has created a Dementia and Driving Resource Center. This website provides videos of 4 different conversations between an older adult with a driving issue and a family member discussing the situation. In addition, there are many helpful recommendations on ways to approach the concerns. This site also provides information on unsafe driving red flags and other valuable resources.


NEWEST PROGRAM

Home Sweet Home: Easier Said than Done is a 3 hour training program for families, caregivers and healthcare professionals. Most older adults prefer to return to their own home whenever possible after hospitalization or rehab. In order to maximize their safety and quality of life of all involved, it is essential to make modifications if there are also difficulties with hearing, vision, speech, memory or cognition.

Being proactive involves taking a look at the bigger picture including the status of the caregivers and meeting them where they are in their journey. You will be able to hear many of the insights from Kathryn's many decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist in home health care. Visit UPCOMING EVENTS for the current schedule including some webinars if there is not a program in your area.

MEMORY FITNESS BLOG

Memory Fitness Matters focuses on successful aging and lifelong learning. Each Monday you will be given a suggestion that promotes brain health. Focusing on just one aspect each week will begin to transform your awareness of what matters when it comes to maximizing your memory. This might be a helpful approach to consider.

Currently there are blogs covering Memory Basics, Strategies, Brain Aerobics as well as memory and Aging. Check out this list of current blogs and sign up to receive a weekly blog. If you are an activity professional or attend programs at a local senior center, contact Memory Fitness Matters for ways to incorporate these weekly blogs into your programs. Another helpful resource is Walking the Path to Memory Fitness One Week at a Time.

HAVE YOU READ?

One of my favorite books to suggest so families can learn ways to enhance their visits when a loved one has memory loss is Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox. This little boy who lives next door to a nursing home teaches us about "what is a memory?" He creates a meaningful visit when he shares his stories which encourage Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper to share some of her memories. You will enjoy the pictures and treasure the message.


CONNECTING PEOPLE THROUGH BETTER COMMUNICATION

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month and speech-language pathologists are an excellent resource for those who are concerned about an older adult with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. Why a speech-language pathologist? This is a question I hear frequently.

First of all they can help to identify if a person at risk for dementia. Interventions includes strategies to enhance communication and functional abilities throughout the various levels of functioning while providing caregivers with recommendations including modifications to promote safety, In addition, counseling is provided for the individuals with dementia, their significant others and caregivers on the course of the disease. Speech-language pathologists are advocates for those with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias. My ElderCare link articles and blogs may be a resource to explore to give you additional information on the scope of our practice and provide you with some information to share with the physician so that an appropriate referral can be made.

SUGGESTIONS FOR CAREGIVERS

 
Recently a client needed to hire a caregiver from 7AM to 7PM to assist with her grandmother's morning routine which included bathing, helping her get dressed and preparing meals, When she left midafternoon another caregiver arrived to assist with dinner and helped her get ready for bed.

The problem was that changing of caregivers was confusing her and she would get upset since there could be 3 or 4 different women involved during the course of a week.

My suggestion was that they create a memory board for the day. The early AM caregiver put up the day and date along with the name and photo of each of the caregivers for just that day. It was kept in the same place so she got used to looking at it. When she asked who was coming next, they directed her to the board and she began to eventually refer to it with a few reminders. It did not take long for the repetitive questioning to disappear when it came to the schedule and who was coming next.


RESOURCES 

Contact Kathryn about her informative and inspirational programs on Walking the Journey: When Dementia Comes Home. She provides geriatric communication consulting and her articles and blogs on these topics include practical suggestions and support for all involved.

 

QUICK LINKS
Share these resources with the members of your group.


PRODUCTS               UPCOMING EVENTS


Sign up for the  MEMORY FITNESS BLOG

Sign up for the NEWSLETTER


"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

William Buettner

 

_________________________________________________________


January 2012


Communication Connection and Memory Fitness Matters
welcomes you to visit our updated website.

Kathryn Kilpatrick

Geriatric Communication Consultant Speech-Language Pathologist
Memory Fitness Coach Author Motivational Speaker

www.connectionsincommunication.com     www.memoryfitnessmatters.com

 

Our focus is to provide a variety of resources for healthcare professionals of older adults as well as families, friends, caregivers, volunteers and faith communities.

Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to providing new products along with more practical information through my blogs and seminars.

Share your ideas and please pass along these resources, many of which were created to provide specific ideas for families and caregivers looking for tools to enhance the time they spend with loved ones.

 

MEMORY FITNESS BLOG   LINK to Weekly Blogs
Memory Fitness Matters focuses on successful aging and lifelong learning. Each Monday you will be given a suggestion that promotes brain health for successful aging. Focusing on just one aspect each week will begin to transform your awareness of what matters when it comes to enhancing your memory. How are you doing with your memory fitness program? Check out these key areas and look for weekly suggestions. Senior centers may want to contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for ways to incorporate these weekly blogs into your programs.


HAVE YOU READ?

In Jan's Story by Barry Petersen, he shares the journey with his wife who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. One of the ways he helps others to understand what is happening to a loved one is to incorporate the 7 stages of Alzheimer's disease into his observations.


Consider discussing with your doctor a referral to a speech-language pathologist specializing in the area of geriatrics. We can offer strategies at each level that may help to decrease some of the communication challenges, confusion, and difficult behaviors while increasing activity participation. Refer to the articles and blogs links listed below. They provide a wide variety of possible suggestions to get you started and help you better assess your situation so that you can provide your doctor and other professionals with additional pertinent information.

BLOG - ELDERCARE LINK
Since my last newsletter in 2009, I have been writing articles and blogs for ElderCarelink on issues of concern that I frequently see with my patients, clients and their families, friends, and caregivers. Visit the list of topics with articles and a series of related blogs for suggestions including communication strategies, activity modifications, all focused on person-directed care and enhancing quality of life. Please pass the information along to others. Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated. Visit consultation for information on some other options.


NEW PRODUCTS
Helpful products created especially for those looking for ways to enhance the time spent with an older adult. There are also activities they might enjoy doing on their own or with the assistance of another person.


Communication Connection Resource Kit
Looking for conversation starters and activity ideas? These 5 products provide a wide variety of topics and reminiscence opportunities. Details and sample pages

20th Century Reminiscence Puzzle series
Fill-in the blanks, word searches, crossword puzzles and brain teasers which can be modified for those who need more cues. Details and sample pages

NEWEST PROGRAM
Functional Communication Assessments is a 6 hour program for healthcare professionals. Attendees will be given some basic tools to better understand the listening, reading, verbal and written functioning of older adults. This information will help to maximize communication when there are hearing, vision, speech, memory and cognitive deficits. If there is not a program in your area, check resources for additional information.


SUGGESTIONS FOR CAREGIVERS
Recently a client needed to hire a caregiver from 7AM to 7PM to assist with her grandmother's morning routine which included bathing, helping her get dressed and preparing meals, When she left midafternoon another caregiver arrived to assist with dinner and helped her get ready for bed. 

The problem was that changing of caregivers was confusing her and she would get upset since there could be 3 or 4 different women involved during the course of a week.

My suggestion was that they create a memory board for the day. The early AM caregiver put up the day and date along with the name and photo of each of the caregivers for just that day. It was kept in the same place so she got used to looking at it. When she asked who was coming next, they directed her to the board and she began to eventually refer to it with a few reminders. It did not take long for the repetitive questioning to disappear when it came to the schedule and who was coming next.

QUICK LINKS
Share these resources with

the members of your group.

PRODUCTS

UPCOMING EVENTS


Sign up for the
MEMORY FITNESS BLOG

Sign up for the
NEWSLETTER

 

"You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran­­­­­­­­­

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
 for more details about her programs
and her geriatric communication and memory fitness consultation services.


FEATURED article by Kathryn appearing at ElderCarelink

Practical information for faith communities or other volunteers working with older adults.

Additional information
Creating meaningful visits

Aging parents
Critical conversations