Conversations between people with Alzheimer´s Disease and their caregivers: On human agency, identity formation, and the risk of losning identity
2005 (English)In: 9th International Pragmatics Conference,2005, Antwerp, Belgium: International Pragmatics Association (IPrA) , 2005Conference paper (Other academic)
The paper uses data from a project concerning communication and social interaction between old people with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and their carers (employed by the municipal social services). The empirical data consist of dyadic conversations between a person with AD and a caregivers. The aim of the project was to investigate naturally occurring conversations between individuals with AD and their caregivers. The analyses did not focus only on the disabilities but also on the communicative abilities of the AD patients. The study explored how communicative abilities may change over time and different situations, and how the communicative behaviour of persons with AD may be influenced by conversational contributions of the healthy interlocutors. The analyses in the paper focused on the following aspects: (a) The care-givers methods of talking with the old person (e.g. to give support, or to make corrections); (b) The narratives produced by the old persons; (c) The construction and co-construction of narratives in this type of care setting. According to the results some of the stories told by the persons with AD have a conventional structure - a classical beginning - middle - end format, with a description of a situation, introduction of characters, the introduction of some kind of problem or dilemma, and a resolution. However, several of the stories take a different form: E.g they do not have a conventional ending with a resolution of the issues raised. These changes may be linked to the old person-s memory difficulties, and the mixing of details from other stories. But just like in other social situations - conversations between people with AD and their care-givers include interplay between the interlocutors. The listeners (i.e. the caregivers) are not passive recipients but active contributors to the shaping of the tellings with their responses. In this paper it is showed how care-givers may assist with the constructions of narratives to help the old persons with AD to articulate their stories.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Antwerp, Belgium: International Pragmatics Association (IPrA) , 2005.
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-31758Local ID: 17581OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-31758DiVA: diva2:252581