Person-Centered Memory and Communication Interventions for Dementia: A Case Study Approach

First Edition

Ellen M. Hickey, Natalie F. Douglas

Details: 178 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-301-2

© 2021 | Available


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A Volume in Plural's Medical Speech-Language Pathology Book Series

Person-Centered Memory and Communication Interventions for Dementia: A Case Study Approach is the third volume in Plural's “Medical Speech-Language Pathology” book series. It is a practical, peer-reviewed resource for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) working with people with dementia. In this unique text, the authors cover a variety of evidence-based clinical procedures for the memory, communication, and behavioral challenges of people with dementia. The aim is to empower SLPs and other clinicians to implement practices that elevate the personhood of people living with various dementia syndromes.

Throughout this clinician-friendly text, the authors cover three main areas of focus: elevating personhood, the “how tos” of clinical procedures, and the organizational-level barriers and facilitators to implementation. After an introductory chapter, the next eight chapters describe a detailed case study that explains specific person-centered assessment and treatment methods. The cases depict a diverse group of people providing insights into the range of concerns and joys involved in supporting memory and communication in a manner that is culturally responsive and equitable.

Key Features

  • The only dementia text that incorporates a culturally responsive approach to cases that reflect the increasing diversity of the aging population
  • Specific examples of the “how tos” of person-centered, evidence-based care
  • Detailed personal, assessment, and treatment histories for each case, with a table of goals and intervention procedures, as well as illustrations of memory and communication strategies
  • Each chapter starts with an “At-A-Glance” section to highlight the person and ends with a summary of key points of the treatment and implementation factors 
  • Uses a highly readable writing style with boxes, tables, and figures to support the text 
  • A PluralPlus companion website with additional assessment forms, data collection sheets, photo examples of memory and communication strategies, and functional maintenance plan templates

Natalie F. Douglas Discusses Person-Centered Memory and Communication Interventions for Dementia: A Case Study Approach


"This book is SO functional. I love every inch of it. It provides great evidence-based approaches and examples for intervention with dementia in the form of case studies. Definitely a must-have for SLPs working with dementia!"
—Katie Brown, MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS, Speech-Language Pathologist & Owner of Neuro Speech Solutions

This book presents memory and communication interventions for dementia, focusing on using person-centered care to assist clients by prolonging their quality and/or quantity of life. The website provides resources to spark clients' memory and aid them in completing their daily routines and more. 
The purpose is to demonstrate the use of person-centered assessments and intervention for persons with dementia. It shows how to use the life participation approach to put together goals that work specifically for a particular client. The client and the speech-language pathologist establish goals that use strategies to enhance communication skills in ways that are tailor made for them.

The audience is shown the benefits of focusing on life participation with their clients who have dementia.  The authors use person-centered tools by working directly with the client to set up the goals that are meaningful for them.  In a unique way, the authors begin with a lengthy introduction which describes the process in great detail. After that, 8 case studies are presented and describe the benefit the clients receive by using this approach. 
The book demonstrates the benefits of focusing on life participation with their clients who have dementia. The authors use person-centered tools, working directly with the client to set up goals that are meaningful for them. The book begins with a lengthy introduction that describes the process in great detail. The authors then present eight case studies and describe the benefit the clients receive by using this approach. This book is very timely. Dementia is becoming more prevalent, and speech-language pathologists are often asked to provide tools that may help clients have a better quality of life. This book does not only that, it also describes real-life situations for families, caregivers, and clients to see what other people with dementia have gone through, and how they dealt with it. I will definitely use this book.”
Lorelei Peirson, MA, CCC-SLP, Biola University, in Doody's Review (September 2021)

“This book has several strengths. First, the book presents an application of evidence-based practice interventions and approaches that focus on providing a tailored, culturally responsive approach to person-centered dementia care…This 10-chapter book includes an introductory chapter, eight-case-study chapters, and a concluding chapter.  The first chapter sets the stage for the eight case studies by describing person-centered assessment and care, culturally responsive practice, evidence-based interventions, healthcare environments, and challenges... This chapter also includes a chart that demonstrates an example of this assessment procedure using the Flip the Rehab Model (Bourgeois, 2014), adapted from the Living with Aphasia Framework for Outcomes Measurement (Kagan & Simmons-Mackie, 2007), a model focusing on patient outcomes…The authors highlight the importance of developing a treatment plan using an intervention method that supports the independence and life participation of individuals with dementia while considering their con-textual factors. This chapter describes evidence-based practices, such as using memory and communication aids, and provides a chart with examples of electronic and nonelectronic external aids... Therefore, in this introductory chapter, the authors guide the reader on how to use the assessment outcomes in developing a treatment plan that includes evidence-based practices that meet regulatory and reimbursements guidelines.
… Each case study includes background information, results of ethnographic approach for person-centered assessment, results of the cognitive-communication assessment, and sample goals for implementing evidence-based person-centered care. All of the case studies utilize the assessment approach Flip the Rehab Model…
Each case-study chapter identifies specific factors that should be addressed when assessing and determining a treatment plan for each person with dementia. The format of the case studies’ depiction highlights the importance of seeing the whole person in a relatable manner…The authors include (a) templates for identifying participation opportunities within daily activities; (b) interview sample questions for each person with dementia and/ or caregivers; and (c) sample artifacts to collect personal information on special items, photographs, or terms of interest.
Each case-study chapter includes charts describing the results of the ethnographic and cognitive/ communication assessments (formal and informal measurements) and swallowing assessments (when applicable). The authors also included a chart with desired outcomes, goals, and sample evidence-based intervention using external memory/ communication aids, space retrieval training, and care partner instruction that supports the needs of each case study. Sample figures included in each chapter highlight the specific needs of the person with dementia. …The authors also provide examples of how to improve the engagement for each person by identifying key personnel and describing their roles within an interprofessional practice approach.
Finally, the authors describe potential barriers to implementation and possible suggestions for addressing these concerns…. Each chapter closes with a summary of their background, diagnosis, intervention process, and barriers to implementation.
…The book is well organized and provides numerous examples of applied memory and communication interventions for ethnically and racially diverse individuals with dementia. The authors acknowledge that the process and approach in providing memory and communication interventions have challenges (in terms of staffing, administration, and fiscal support); however, they inspire hope for the provision of person-centered dementia care.
The final chapter includes a message that empowers future clinicians with this sense of hope. Therefore, this book will inspire new SLPs, health care providers, and caregivers to develop and implement culturally responsive, tailored person-centered memory and communication interventions for persons living with dementia. This book highlights valuable information that can benefit professionals, such as SLPs, nurses, and professors teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in higher education. This book can be used as a primary textbook in courses focusing on dementia. Moreover, this book can also be used as a supplemental textbook for courses focusing on adult cognition and language disorders, adult language disorders, neuromotor speech disorders concomitant with dementia, augmentative and alternative communication, gerontology, interprofessional education and practice, and cognitive assessment and treatment.”

—Manateresa (Teri) H. Muñoz and Ellen Leslie Brown, Florida International University, in Journal of Applied Gerontology (March 2022)


Series Introduction by Kristie A. Spencer and Jacqueline Daniels

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Elsie, the Nana

Chapter 3. Sylvie, the Entertainer

Chapter 4. Ivan, the Mentor
Ellen Hickey, Rebecca H. Affoo, and Natalie F. Douglas

Chapter 5. Saumya, the Caretaker

Chapter 6. Andre, the Artist  

Chapter 7. Michael, the Mindful Yogi 

Chapter 8. Sam, the Bocce Player    

Chapter 9. Angie, the Pug Mom  

Chapter 10. Conclusion


Ellen M. Hickey

Ellen Hickey, PhD, SLP-Reg., SLP(C), CCC-SLP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Dalhousie University. She has been a speech-language pathologist for over 30 years and specializes in working with persons with acquired neurological communication disorders and their families and care partners. She engages in clinical practice, research, and teaching with an emphasis on care partner training to improve the implementation of best practices for communication, engagement, and quality of life with persons with dementia, aphasia, and motor speech disorders. She is also committed to community engagement and has served on a committee for ASHA SIG 2, and on the Boards of Directors for a group home for persons with acquired brain injury and Aphasia Nova Scotia. Ellen is also committed to continuous learning and actions toward antiracism and decolonization in speech-language pathology, education, and healthcare. She aims for true person-centered care, which can only be achieved through culturally responsive practice.  

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Natalie F. Douglas

Natalie Douglas, PhD, CCC-SLP, is Lead Collaborator at Practical Implementation Collaborative and an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Central Michigan University. Her work aims to advance best, person-centered practices in communication and quality of life interventions for people with dementia, aphasia, and other acquired communication disorders in adults. She additionally aims to empower local healthcare and educational teams to support best practices, quality improvement initiatives, and person-centered care through applying principles of implementation science.

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Purchase of Person-Centered Memory and Communication Interventions for Dementia: A Case Study Approach comes with access to supplementary materials on a PluralPlus companion website.

To access the materials, you must register on the companion website and log in using the access code* printed on the inside front cover of your book.


*Note: If you have purchased this textbook used or have rented it, your access code will not work if it was already redeemed by the original buyer of the book. Plural Publishing does not offer replacement access codes for used or rented textbooks. 

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