As discussed prior, this research project requires recordings of a set of stimuli from individuals with dementia. We have recorded and analyzed three individuals, one is a healthy individual, one has TBI induced dementia and the other is in stage 5 of dementia. We will be re-recording these individuals in September to see the progression of their diagnosis and note the differences.
The issue we came across while doing this research, was the lack of participants. Dementia affects speech abilities at one point or another during the progression but unfortunately it is not what most people tend to notice or worry about. I learned that with this population of individuals, a patient and caring tone and nature is a must. In order to make the individual feel comfortable and to understand the procedure, we explain the research after so that it doesn’t skew the data.We make sure to acknowledge their efforts and hard work as well as ask them how they’re feeling. For them, it can become tiring half way through the procedure. I think it’s very important that I gain this experience in both research and working with dementia patients as many tend to forget about the field of geriatrics; even speech therapists themselves.
This project has only just begun for myself, and Dr. Carozza. There is still so much more to learn, understand and analyze to fulfill the goal of this research. We will be continuously working on this research throughout the year as we hope to submit a poster to the NY state speech convention in May. This research is highly important as a prospective Speech Language Pathologist as I have learned research procedures, writing clinically and how to properly work with individuals in this population. It is an exceptional feeling to know that I am taking part in something that can help further my career and understanding of a disease I will be all too familiar with in this field.