Assistive Technology to Bridge the Communication GapBy Sterns, Ronni, PhD; Sterns, Anthony, PhD; Sterns, Harvey L., PhD; Antenucci, Vincent, MA; 2003 International Conference on Aging, Disability, and Independence, pp. 130-131
Publication Date: May 2004
Paper discusses a system that allows staff in long-term care settings to communicate with residents suffering from dementia who speak English as their second language. Many bilingual people often return to using their native language during the progression of dementia, which often creates a prevalent language barrier between staff and residents. The system consists of wall-mounted and handheld items, along with a learning station with practice tapes and flip charts that were developed using phonetic pronunciation cues that allow for simple communication between two people who do not speak the same language. The items were created for staff to converse with residents who speak Russian, Japanese, or Spanish. Trained observers collected initial test data on the number of successful interactions between staff and residents. Upon further refinement, the system was tested in seven more facilities in order to measure increases in vocabulary levels to determine staff satisfaction. Overall, the system was seen as an improvement over previously used methods of communication with residents who did not speak English. Implications for further research are discussed.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for Successful Aging (RERC-Tech-Aging) (Website:http://www.phhp.ufl.edu/centers/rerc.htm)