Semin Speech Lang 2001; 22(4): 291-304
DOI: 10.1055/s-2001-17427
Copyright © 2001 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Direct Interventions for Improving the Performance of Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease

Nidhi Mahendra
  • Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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Publication History

Publication Date:
27 September 2001 (online)


Direct interventions are being used increasingly to maintain and improve the communicative and cognitive functioning of patients with Alzheimer's dementia. Speech-language pathologists can play an integral role in maximizing the functioning of dementia patients by selecting appropriate direct interventions that capitalize on spared neuropsychological abilities to compensate for impaired abilities. Successful direct interventions use techniques that facilitate learning and retention of information and skills. In this article, direct intervention techniques-repeated exposure via spaced retrieval training and quizzes; errorless learning; multisensory stimulation using music, toys, pets, and memory wallets; and other approaches to cognitive-linguistic stimulation such as the use of personal computers; the Montessori method; and activity programming-are reviewed. The rationale for use of these direct interventions and available efficacy data with Alzheimer's patients also are presented.