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I work in a senior living home, which has Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing care. I have a Masters in Deaf Ed and taught my (hearing) children to sign. I really would like to start teaching sign again, to infants, but ever since I took this job (entry level, serving meals, some residents do have dementia ), I’ve started to wonder if I could teach the aging population to sign. Even those who have suffered a stroke. I serve one woman who has had a stroke and even though she can only use one hand, she has been open to learning some food signs. Can you direct or advice me if there is a need for teaching signing to this generation BEFORE they lose their hearing. Or before they have a stroke. I would think it could be so useful. I’m googling and googling, but coming up empty. Thank you.
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Anne, Thank you for your efforts and for your comment. I totally agree with you on the need to learn sign language. On my website under videos – you will see a series of videos I did on Sign Language for dementia. These were designed to help people in the early stages of dementia to learn 20 basic sign language skills WITH their caregiver so when the time came that they could not communicate verbally they would still be able to communicate. Although they have had many views, I know of few people that are actually practicing them – thus they will not be prepared. Since Sign Language is visual (rather than verbal), I think many people in early stages could benefit by making it part of their normal conversation. However, I know that learning new things gets more difficult as the diseasae progresses – so it must be practiced in the early stages.