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Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(3), 42; doi:10.3390/bs7030042

Dementia at the End of Life and Family Partners: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective on Communication

1
Department of Sociology, 601 University Drive, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666-4684, USA
2
Gerontologist and Dementia Specialist, Aging Consultants, Austin, TX 78733, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maureen P. Keeley
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 9 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Family Communication at the End of Life)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [467 KB, uploaded 9 July 2017]   |  

Abstract

People with dementia are not dying; they are experiencing changes in the brain. This paper utilizes a symbolic interaction theoretical perspective to outline communicative alternatives to polypharmacy. There is a growing interest in sociological interventions to untangle the “disordered discourses” associated with dementia. Such practices challenge common stigmas attached to dementia as an “ongoing funeral” or “death certificate.” Changing the expectations, attitudes and communication patterns of family care partners can positively impact them and the person living with dementia at the end of life. This paper delineates multiple non-verbal communication interventions (e.g., the trip back in time, dementia citizenship and sensory engagement modalities) to explore techniques to engage persons with advanced dementia. View Full-Text
Keywords: communication; symbolic interaction; end of life; family care partners; persons living with dementia communication; symbolic interaction; end of life; family care partners; persons living with dementia
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Johnson, C.; Kelch, J.; Johnson, R. Dementia at the End of Life and Family Partners: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective on Communication. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 42.

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