[PDF] Resource Manual for Commissioning and Planning Services for SLCN (speech, language and communication needs) - Dementia

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists - RCSLT
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Publication date:
29 August 2013


1. Speech and language therapists have a unique role in identifying and analysing the specific nature of the speech and language impairment of persons with suspected or actual dementia. They can contribute to differential diagnosis and facilitate the identification of retained abilities and comorbidities (e.g. hearing loss) 2. Speech and language therapists have a unique role in identifying the nature of eating and swallowing problems. 3. Difficulties with social communication is a predominant feature in dementia and can reduce access to recreation, employment, social integration, including forming relationships and expressing personality. It has a major impact upon the quality of life. Speech and language therapists can assist by slowing the decline or reducing the impact of the communication impairment, and by supporting carers. 4. Communication difficulties are associated with increased prevalence of challenging behaviour. 5. Improved communication has an impact on behaviour, social skills, peer relationships and self-confidence 6. Speech and language therapist should be integral members of services and multiagency teams supporting people with dementia their families and carers 7. Persons with dementia may present in different ways, and have varying profiles of retained abilities and different needs. Services should be person centred and provide a range of interventions 8. There is evidence that interventions, including communication groups, altering the environment and methods of stimulation and support provided by speech and language therapists is effective in reducing decline and improving quality of life. 9. Speech and language therapists have a key role in educating/training others involved in care of those with dementia and strategies to support communication. 10. Speech and language have a key role in training others involved in the care of those with dementia in strategies associated to improve the effectiveness and safety of feeding and swallowing 11. Persons with dementia remain at risk as defined by The Incapacity Act and speech and language therapists are integral to assess incompetence for consenting 12. Pathways of care for persons with dementia should integrate speech and language therapy and take account of the changing needs and focus of interventions as the condition alters and declines.