3 Communication and cognitive issues

3.1 Introduction

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Having worked through the course up to the end of Section 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , you should now have a general understanding of the motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s. You should also understand the impact that these symptoms can have on the quality of life of a person with Parkinson’s and how you can help them manage these symptoms. In this section we will look in detail at communication and cognitive problems, as these can have a significant impact on a person with Parkinson’s and those who care for them. You can consider your role and that of other professionals in managing these problems.

In this section, we will look at the following questions:

  • What communication problems are caused by Parkinson’s?
  • What is the impact of these problems and what assumptions could be made about people with communication difficulties?
  • How can communication problems be managed?
  • What cognitive problems are caused by Parkinson’s and how can you care for someone with cognitive problems?

This section begins with a short video of Joyce Quillietti, whose partner has Parkinson’s. She introduces the discussion of communication and cognitive issues by reflecting on how she and her family experience these issues.

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Learning outcomes

The purpose of Section 3 is to give you an understanding of the processes, procedures, methods, techniques and services used to manage communication and cognitive issues in Parkinson’s.

By the end of this section you should be able to identify and describe the following:

  • the key communication and cognitive challenges of Parkinson’s
  • the impact these challenges may have on the individual and those around them
  • the range of techniques used to address common communication and cognitive challenges, and the appropriate situations in which to use them.

3.2 What communication problems are caused by Parkinson’s?