Adaptive Interaction and Dementia

Adaptive Interaction and Dementia

How to Communicate without Speech

Maggie Ellis, Arlene Astell, Suzanne Scott


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This guide to Adaptive Interaction explains how to assess the communication repertoires of people with dementia who can no longer speak, and offers practical interventions for those who wish to interact with them.

Outlining the challenges faced by people living with advanced dementia, this book shows how to relieve the strain on relationships between them, their families, and professional caregivers through better, person-centred communication. It includes communication assessment tools and guidance on how to build on the communication repertoire of the individual with dementia using nonverbal means including imitation, facial expressions, sounds, movement, eye gaze and touch. With accessible evidence and case studies based on the authors' research, Adaptive Interaction can be used as the basis for developing interactions without words with people living with dementia.


Maggie Ellis:
Dr Maggie Ellis is a lecturer in psychology and the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where she also gained her PhD on maintaining personhood and the self in individuals with dementia. A popular teacher, Maggie has won awards two years running at St Andrews for her senior honours module on the Psychology of Dementia. Maggie has been working with and researching the lives and experiences of people with dementia, their family members and their professional caregivers for sixteen years. She lives in a small coastal town in north east Scotland with her husband and beloved dog.

Professor Arlene Astell completed her PhD at the University of Warwick on the impact of dementia on speech. Over the past twenty years her work has focused on developing interventions to support people to live as well as possible with dementia. This includes leading multiple national and international projects and supervising many students who have gone on to work with people with dementia. Arlene is currently undertaking a research chair in dementia at the University of Toronto and is a Professor in Neurocognitive Disorders at the University of Reading.

Suzanne Scott is an artist and illustrator based in Dundee working under the name WhimSicAL LusH.