Events: Dementia Awareness Talk

Tuesday 15th October 18:00-19:00
Smorgas Cafe 401 Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2PR

This talk is for the family and friends of those with dementia. It will cover the three stages of dementia and explore how communication and interaction with your loved one can be improved.

Speaker: Haya Alazemi, Speech & Language Therapist, Researcher at the University of Sheffield, Human Communications Sciences Department.

This is a free event but numbers are limited so please book your place at the cafe or by emailing

Life doesn’t develop in simple, straight lines. It has it peaks and valleys, we stumble and fall, then we rise again. Yet individuals with dementia have a different experience: it’s like a mist that interferes with the authentic personality of the one behind it. It comes in three phases. First the forgetfulness, when he/she starts to forget basic life activities. Second, the ‘confusion phase’, where loss of memory and function in daily activities and social life may cause one shame, anger and frustration at this unexpected change in one’s abilities. As social engagement and personality change, so a greater burden may be placed on family members. This is turn may cause problems with interaction and communication at an everyday level.

Then, one reaches the final phase of dementia, which is the loss of one’s capacity for independent living and requires professional health-care services. It can happen to any of our family members or friends. Consequently, we need to raise awareness of this topic, so that friends and families of dementia sufferers can talk more easily about their supportive roles. How can we improve communication in daily interaction through the application of compensatory strategies? And how can we approach the issue from new perspectives? Perspectives of love and kindness, above all, for the ones we care about, asking questions about how to communicate and interact with them, because they are still there – just at a different phase of life!

Haya Alazemi is a speech and language therapist from Kuwait and is currently a researcher at the University of Sheffield, Human Communications Sciences Department. During the research for her Master’s programme, Haya specialized in acquired communicative disorders – in particular, acquired language disorders. In the initial stages of her PhD research project, Haya is interested in the role of informal carers (spouses, siblings, children, volunteers, etc.). Above all, she is interested in how these individuals can improve the life quality of those with dementia through better interaction and naturalistic communication in a domestic environment.

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