The Synergistic Relationship Between the Nurse Practitioner and Speech-Language Pathologist in the Treatment of the Patient With Alzheimer's Dementia and Dysphagia by James J. Rooney and Peter Johnson The nurse practitioner working in the managed-care environment is frequently faced with the decision of how and when to intervene with the speech-language pathologist when treating a patient with Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD). As most therapists and nurses know, dementia is an acquired impairment in intellectual function with at least ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2000
The Synergistic Relationship Between the Nurse Practitioner and Speech-Language Pathologist in the Treatment of the Patient With Alzheimer's Dementia and Dysphagia by James J. Rooney and Peter Johnson
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Article   |   April 01, 2000
The Synergistic Relationship Between the Nurse Practitioner and Speech-Language Pathologist in the Treatment of the Patient With Alzheimer's Dementia and Dysphagia by James J. Rooney and Peter Johnson
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), April 2000, Vol. 9, 4-6. doi:10.1044/sasd9.1.4
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), April 2000, Vol. 9, 4-6. doi:10.1044/sasd9.1.4
The nurse practitioner working in the managed-care environment is frequently faced with the decision of how and when to intervene with the speech-language pathologist when treating a patient with Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD). As most therapists and nurses know, dementia is an acquired impairment in intellectual function with at least three of the following areas: memory, language, emotion, executive function, and visual spatial skills.
Some of the characteristics of dementia include impaired learning of new information, poor recall of remote memory, impaired name recall, poor comprehension, and a deterioration of visual and spatial abilities, as well as poor calculation, abstraction, and judgment. The clinical features that preclude the diagnosis of AD are sudden onset of symptoms, such as gait disturbance, seizures, incoordination, and focal neurological findings. The early clinical presentation of dementia includes memory impairment, word finding difficulties, geographic disorientation, and difficulty with balancing a checkbook. Moderate dementia involves day-night disorientation, language deterioration, difficulties with simple chores, wandering, irritability, and depression. In AD, irritability becomes agitation, hallucinations can occur, incontinence worsens, and dependence on caregivers ensues. Other signs of AD include limited vocabulary (less than 20 words), inability to track with the eyes, absence of smiling, and poor sitting posture (Uphold & Graham, 1994). The specific identification of many of the above symptoms involve a collaborate approach between the nurse practitioner and speech-language pathologist.
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