Coping With Dementia Program

The Coping With Dementia Program at Beaumont is individually designed to meet the needs of the patient and caregiver living with dementia. Evaluation and treatment is based on a physician's referral. Each program is tailored to meet the patient and caregiver needs.

Service Overview

The program has two phases. First, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist will evaluate the patient's communicative abilities using a series of measures for speech, language, memory and cognitive skills. The results are used to develop treatment goals and make further treatment recommendations.

In phase two, we share our assessment results with the patient and caregiver. The rest of the program is focused on helping the caregiver develop strategies and techniques to use in the home to maximize effective communication and help the patient use preserved speech, language, memory and cognitive skills.

The Coping With Dementia program also uses numerous community resources to assist patients, families and caregivers in receiving needed support.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is the progressive loss of mental abilities, including speech, language and memory skills, and most commonly occurs late inlife and is a result of other conditions. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder that is the leading cause of dementia. Medically, the brain forms plaques and tangles affecting the nerve cell process. The first symptom people notice is forgetfulness, though the disease also gradually destroys a person's ability to learn, reason, make judgments, communicate and perform activities of daily living.

Multi-Infarct Dementia or Vascular Dementia is considered the second most common type of dementia. It develops as a result of strokes and affects the skills associated with the part of the brain where the strokes are appearing. However, usually over time, it affects general memory, concentration, verbal communication and comprehension.

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) is a rare syndrome where there is shrinking of the frontal and temporal lobes. As it is defined today, the disease often progresses rapidly and steadily. Symptoms of FTD fall into two clinical patterns that involve either:

1. Change in social and personal conduct, characterized by difficulty regulating behavior to the social demands of a situation, often exhibited in a lack of inhibition, resulting in impulsive or inappropriate behavior.

2. The language skills decline, resulting in difficulty with articulation, word retrieval, comprehension and writing and/or reading. Also known as Primary Progressive Aphasia.

Conditions Treated

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Primary progressive aphasia
  • Multi-infarct dementia

Insurance

Coverage from most major insurance companies is accepted, but coverage for treatment depends on individual insurance benefits. A physician's referral for the Coping With Dementia Program is required.

Benefits

  • Optimize speech, language, memory and cognitive skills
  • Educate the patient and caregiver on techniques and practical solutions to help maximize the patient's communicative skills
  • Provide handouts, support and resources to help the patient and caregiver understand and cope with communicative and cognitive changes