A Loyola master's student, 54-year-old Kevin grew concerned when he began experiencing memory lapses that affected his ability to keep up with his course work. A family history of Alzheimer's Disease and a stroke he suffered about 10 years ago suggested that something more serious than absent-mindedness or overwork was involved.
A Loyola professor recommended Kevin contact the Clinical Centers, where he participated in four multi-hour evaluation sessions. The evaluation included testing in psychology, speech-pathology, and audiology. Kevin received a comprehensive report that indicated he had cognitive disorder and memory impairment and recommended he begin speech-language therapy to improve his cognitive-linguistic skills.
Kevin's therapy takes place in a weekly group program. "The testing revealed that my verbal memory is far superior to my visual memory," says Kevin. "It relates to the part of the brain where my stroke occurred. The exercises we work on and the strategies we share in our group have given me techniques that help me remember names, where I've left things, and so on. For example, I can't just watch myself lock the front door to remember I've done it—I have to say it out loud."
Each group session ends with recommendations of online and other exercises members can work on at home.
"Participating in this program really helped me with my academic work," says Kevin. "It helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses, and develop ways to use my strengths to overcome those weaknesses."
"M" improved her articulation with the help of sessions tailored specifically to her interests, which made her more engaged.