Mary Spremulli, MA,CCC-SLP Speech Pathologists joined our Parkinson’s-Life Discussion Group for an enlightened presentation for PWP and care partners on improving/understanding communication in the face of a Parkinson’s diagnosis. To join live presentations like this visit https://www.smartxpd.com/parkinsons-life-discussion-group/ and Sign Up with your email.
Titled: Parkinson’s & Care-Partner Communication: It Takes Two Baby! Mary discusses the challenges couples face because of the complex symptoms that can accompany Parkinson’s. She analyzes how certain aspects of a relationship stay the same but many change and that understanding how your role has been altered can help improve and nurture the health of your relationship. Mary provides observations from her 20 years of working with PWP and delivers practical strategies and techniques that can help you understand your role and how you can become a team player in strengthening your relationship. It takes two baby!!!
Click below image to view presentation.
The session started with a discussion about interpersonal communication, which is communication between two or more people.
She talked about the need for effective communication between PWP and the care partner. Remember, you didn’t invite PD. You should not feel shame or be left feeling badly. At home, you are not a patient, not a caregiver, you are a husband or a wife.
The presentation focused on obstacles that arise.
One such example could be an unexpected illness or injury of the non-PWP.
PD may cause changes in the way you communicate.
Speech changes: volume, rate, prosody of speech.
Sensory perception – PWP misjudges amplitude of voice and movement, doesn’t feel normal.
Spouse w/hearing loss – she offered ways to mitigate the situation, i.e., talk in same room. However, why undergo therapy if spouse won’t use hearing aids.
Medication “off” times, dyskinesia, fatigue, gait issues.
Ways to help – Rest before going out, provide feedback.
Exercise – stick with it, willing and able to do it, helps with apathy, motivation, and depression.
Vocal Warmups – practice daily, practice together.
Bradyphrenia, difficulty in finding desired words.
Longer to process, harder to say.
PWP must think about doing things that others do automatically.
May be hard to know what a PWP is feeling.
Hypomimia or masking
Apathy can dull your feelings and make you appear uninterested
The old way of communication may not work anymore. Over time the partners need to adjust and find better ways to communicate with each other.
No one thing works for everyone. Just as every PWP is different so are the methods that help them to communication effectively.
Programs should be individually designed.
Communication issues should be assessed early in the stages of Parkinson’s.
You communicated before you can figure it out now.
Contact Info: Mary Spremulli MA,CCC-SLP Speech Pathologists: Voice Aerobics the HeART and Science of Voice Practice www.voiceaerobicsdvd.com Mary’s Mission: To enlist individuals in their treatment and help them express their personality & spirit through voice. To educate and empower. Mary Spremulli, MA, CCC-SLP* FiTour® Group Exercise Instructor* Voice Aerobics® A Whole-Body Approach Practice