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COURSE SPECIFICATION

Code:                                            School: Health and Social Care
Course Title: Cognition and Communication in the Elderly
Course Coordinator: Team J(RIP A)MTY
Level: 6                                         Credits: 15 credit points
Department: Nursing?????
Pre-requisites: 120 credits in nursing, Preceptorship nurses

Aim:
To provide newly qualified staff nurses with the knowledge and skills to recognise cognitive and
communication difficulties in the elderly patient. To be able to work in collaboration with the multi-
disciplinary team and be able to apply appropriate techniques and approaches to deliver holistic care for this
patient group.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
    1. Interpret cognitive and perceptual difficulties and identify their presentation and management
    2. Examine the impact of functional and organic disorders on cognition and communication
    3. Assess the needs of the individual experiencing cognitive and communication difficulties
    4. Select appropriate cognitive rehabilition strategies to assist clients with cognitive and communication
        disorders
    5. Critically evaluate some of the strategies adopted by care professionals when working with cognitive
        and communication disorders

Indicative course content might include:
Cognition in elderly adults (theories and practice)
       Perception, Attention, Memory
Communication in elderly adults (theories and practice)
       Language, Reading, Writing
Physiological effects of aging on cognition
Neuropsychology
       Effects of illness on cognition and communication
Dysphasia, dysarphria, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease
Barriers to effective communication
Supporting self-expression in the elderly with the use of communication aids
Developing partnerships with multi-disciplinary teams
Time and patient management
Rehabilitation and enabling interventions

Learning and teaching activities might include:
 Role play
         Interactive lectures
              o PowerPoint-based lectures
              o Multimedia content
              o Discussion and dialogue
         Lectures from guest speakers
         Practical Seminar Workshops
         Critical evaluation of important papers
         Case studies
         Day centre visits
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                                                                                                                    2

              Care facility visits

 Assessment details:
Methods of       Please               Gradi   Weight   Minim   Words    Outline Details
Assessment    identify the             ng     ing %     um     Length
              LAST item               Mode              Pass
            of assessment                              Mark
             that a student
               sits with a
                   tick
Group                             Pass/       0%                        10 min group talk and poster
poster                                                                  presentation – relection on experience
presentation                      fail                                  of communicating with the elderly
                                                                        with organic disorders
Reflective          ******        %           100%     40%     3,000    Students will use literature and visit to
log                                                                     care facilities and write aabout
                                                                        reflections on form
                                                                        formative task
Students must obtain a grade of 40 % overall to pass this course.
 Is the student required to pass ALL elements of assessment in YES
 order to pass the course?

 Course mapping to demonstrate assessment of Learning Outcomes:
                                                    Type of formative
                         Explicit Evidence of
   Learning Outcome                              assessment identified in                     Comments
                              how tested
                                                      T&L strategies
  Interpret cognitive  Group Poster presentation Students will present
  and perceptual                                 relective talks based on
  difficulties and                               their on their visits to
  identify their                                 care facilities in groups
  presentation and                               in relation to current and
  management                                     evidence based research
                                                 and in groups will
                                                 discuss issues raised in
                                                 seminar workshops and
                                                 will receive feedback by
                                                 tutors and peers.
  Examine the impact        Reflective log       Students will present
  of functional and                              relective talks based on
  organic disorders on                           their on their visits to
  cognition and                                  care facilities in groups
  communication                                  in relation to current and
                                                 evidence based research
                                                 and in groups will
                                                 discuss issues raised in
                                                 seminar workshops and
                                                 will receive feedback by
                                                 tutors and peers.



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                                                                                                            3

 Assess the needs of               Reflective log       Students will present
 the individual                                         relective talks based on
 experiencing                                           their on their visits to
 cognitive and                                          care facilities in groups
 communication                                          in relation to current and
 difficulties                                           evidence based research
                                                        and in groups will
                                                        discuss issues raised in
                                                        seminar workshops and
                                                        will receive feedback by
                                                        tutors and peers.
 Select appropriate         Group Poster presentation   Students will present
 cognitive rehabilition                                 relective talks based on
 strategies to assist                                   their on their visits to
 clients with cognitive                                 care facilities in groups
 and communication                                      in relation to current and
 disorders                                              evidence based research
                                                        and in groups will
                                                        discuss issues raised in
                                                        seminar workshops and
                                                        will receive feedback by
                                                        tutors and peers.
 Critically evaluate             Reflective log         Students will present
 some of the strategies               And               relective talks based on
 adopted by care            Group Poster presentation   their on their visits to
 professionals when                                     care facilities in groups
 working with                                           in relation to current and
 cognitive and                                          evidence based research
 ciommunication                                         and in groups will
 disorders                                              discuss issues raised in
                                                        seminar workshops and
                                                        will receive feedback by
                                                        tutors and peers.

Indicative Texts:
 ISBN number              Author       Date               Title                         Publisher

ISBN-10:            Atkinson, M &           Basic Medical Science for         Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
1861562381          McHanwell, S.           Speech, Hearing and
                                            Language Students
ISBN-10:            Bee, H. &          2002 Lifespan Development.             Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
0205620884          Boyd, D.
ISBN-10:            Bowling, A.        2005 Ageing Well: Quality of Life      Milton Keynes: Open
0335215092                                  in Old Age                        University Press
ISBN-10:            Erikson, E.H.      1998 The Life Cycle Completed          New York: Norton
0393317722
ISBN-10:            Eysenck,           2010 Cognitive psychology: A           Hove, UK: Psychology Press.
1841695408          M.W. &                  student’s handbook (5th ed
                    Keane, M.T.
ISBN-10:            Frank, A.          1997 The wounded storyteller:          Chicago: University of
0226259935                                  Body, illness and ethics.         Chicago Press.
ISBN-10:            Gravell, R.        1988 Communication Problems in         Communication Skills Builders
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                                                                                                                4

0884502686                               Elderly People: Practical
                                         Approaches to Management
ISBN-10:         Groome, D.       1999 An introduction to cognitive       London: Psychology Press.
086377640X                               psychology: Processes and
                                         disorders.
ISBN-10:         Stuart-          2006 The Psychology of Ageing:          London: Jessica Kingsley
1843104261       Hamilton, A             An Introduction
ISBN-10:         Harwood, J.      2007 Understanding                      London: Sage
1412926092                               Communication and Aging:
                                         Developing Knowledge and
                                         Awareness
ISBN-10:         Nelson-Jones,    2002 Basic Counselling Skills: A        London: Cassell.
0761949615       R.                      Helper's Manual
ISBN-10:         Parkin, A.J.     1996 Explorations in Cognitive          Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
0631194738                               Neuropsychology.
ISBN-10:         Pring, T.        2004 Research Methods in                Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
1861560974                               Communication Disorders
                 Syder, D.        1998 Wanting to talk: Counselling London: Whurr Publishers.
                                  .      case studies in
                                         communication disorders.
ISBN-10:         WoodruffPak, 1997 The Neuropsychology of                 Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell
1557864551       D.S.                    Aging
The course draws heavily on supplementary journals, advanced texts and online sources

Rationale for the course
This course will be part of the preceptorship prograqmme for newly qualified nurses wich is a requiremnet
of the Nurses and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2008) also keeping in line with the Knowledge Skills
Framework (KSF) (2006). The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has identied that communication is a
deficit in local and national Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and as part of the Action Plan to develop this
course. Other external stakeholders such as the Department of Health, National Service Framework for
Elderly Patients, NHS retention, National Dementia strategy, National Stroke Strategy, and it may aid staff
retention by providing improved skills to key staff.

Support structure
Resources
Evaluation and quality assurance
Marketing: Short description: This course is designed to enable nursing students to acquire and improve
their knowledge and skills for the facilitation of communication within an agreed protocol to elderly clients
with an emphasis on those displaying cognitive and communication impairments.

Max students: 15-18
Employability

Content: The course will explore aspects of normal and abnormal human ageing relevant. This will include
physical, sensory, cognitive development, memory attention, psycholinguistic processes language and
literacy processing in mature adults, and the relationship between psychological and other aspects of ageing.

As society ages and the importance of managing information and technology increases - the topic of
cognitive ageing and communication with the elderly is becoming increasingly important. This course offers
a comprehensive and accessible overview of how the cognitive system changes as a function of normal
ageing, as well as what areas of cognitive function are more resistant to age changes. Concepts of identity,
illness and disability in from theoretical, personal and professional perspectives will be discussed in relation
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to the goals of intervention. ageing, to demography, physical aspects of ageing, mental processes and ageing,
nursing and health care for older people, the social context of ageing, cross cultural perspectives,
relationships, quality of life, gender, and financial and policy provision.

Students will be encouraged to apply this understanding to people with communication disabilities and their
families discussed in context of real life case reviews.

Key topics such as interpersonal and family relationships in old age, media portrayals of aging, cultural
variations in intergenerational communication, and health communication in old age. What role does
communication play in shaping our attitudes and feelings about getting older? Are there different or better
ways in which we could get old? Students will emerge with a greater understanding of communication and
aging research, and with a greater interest and sensitivity to the ways in which communication is shaped by,
and itself influences, the aging process.

Learning and Teaching Strategies

Teaching and learning strategies will include formal lectures to introduce novel concepts and theories.
Student-lead formative seminars and class-based exercises linking theory to practice will facilitate the
development and embedding of ideas and expertise and skills workshops will allow the students to practice
the application of counselling skills. On-line resources (including two universities VLEs e.g. Blackboard
and WebCT and group discussions facilitated by tutors will also be utilized. The emphasis will be on
participative learning and students will be expected to relate their own personal and professional experience
to material covered. They will be encouraged throughout the course to reflect on their learning, skills and
personal development to facilitate presentation of a reflective and evidenced account within their assessed
assignments.


Potential sessions

Introduction to the course and Psychology

The course provides a broad overview of the discipline of psychology by introducing key subject areas in
psychology; neuroscience, cognitive psychology, behavioural psychology, social psychology, developmental
psychology, abnormal psychology and individual differences. These areas cover the foundations of degree-
level Psychology.

Background Reading
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Fredrickon, B.L. and Loftus, G.R. (2003). Atkinson and
Hilgard’s Introduction to Psychology: 15th Edition. Thomson Wadsworth.


Cognitive development

Background reading
Bee, H. & Boyd, D. (2002). Lifespan Development. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Gray, P. (2002). Psychology. New York: Worth. (Chapter 11) (very brief overview)

Social development and development across the lifespan

the psychosocial development of adults.

Key reference:

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Boyd, H. and Bee, H. (2009). Lifespan Development, 5th Edition.London: Pearson.


Disorders of the brain (cognitive and clinical neuropsychology)
Discussion of impairments of the cognitive system including double dissociations, agnosia (inability to
identify objects), prosopagnosia (inability to recognise others), spoken language impairments (aphasia),
dyslexia (reading problems), dysgraphia (writing problems), amnesia (memory loss)

Background reading
Farrell, M. (2006). The effective teacher’s guide to autism and communication difficulties. London:
    Routledge . (Available as an e-book via the university library catalogue on the student portal).
Parkin, A.J. (1996). Explorations in Cognitive Neuropsychology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.


Brain, language and speech production 1

Basic cognitive processes relevant to speech production (such as working memory and lexical effects) as
well as attention and memory will be introduced, followed by the subject of language and speech
production. This will include topics such as an outline of the architecture of the language production system,
Garrett’s model and later developments (e.g. Bock’ theory), lexicalisation and phonological encoding.
Evidence from speech errors and experimental behavioural research will be discussed.

Background reading
Braisby, N., & Gellatly, A. (2005). Cognitive Psychology. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Eysenck, M.W., & Keane, M.T. (2005). Cognitive Psychology: a Student's Handbook 5 th ed, Hove:
       Psychology Press.
Harley, T. A. (2007). The Psychology of Language: From Data to Theory, 3 rd ed, Hove: LEA.

Brain, language and speech production 2

This session will be dedicated to how humans generate speech with particular attention to the main brain
areas and mechanisms involved. Deficits resulting from damage to these areas will also be examined. Areas
covered will include: Speech areas; Aphasia. Apraxia of speech; Genetic basis for speech disorders.

Background reading
Ashcraft, M.H. (2006). Cognition (4th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.
Eysenck, M.W. & Keane, M.T. (2005). Cognitive psychology: A student’s handbook (5th ed.). Hove, UK:
       Psychology Press.


Families, family relationships and mental health

This session will focus on family relationships through the life span, childhood, adolescence, early
adulthood, the middle years and old age. In the small group part of the session, students will be encouraged
to talk about one of their placement cases where family involvement has been positive and another where it
has been negative. Themes will be drawn from these sessions and practical ways of management will be
discussed. The second part of the session will focus on mental health, particularly anxiety and depression
and how it may impact on the work of the therapist, symptoms presented and client outcomes. The links
between physical illnesses, such as stroke or cancer, and mental health problems will be covered. Students
will also consider past experiences of clients with these problems and management of these difficulties will
be discussed.


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Background reading
Frude, N. (1997). Understanding abnormal psychology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Nichols, K. (1995). Psychological care in physical illness (2 nd Ed).Nelson Thornes.
Noller, P., Feeney, J., & Peterson, C. (2000). Personal relationships across the lifespan. Psychology Press,
        Ltd.




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