Transfer sequences involving persons with dementia
Instrumental tasks as opportunities for conversation
Keywords:Dementia, transfer sequences, embodied resources
This article analyzes a series of sequences taking place in the common room of a Danish dementia care unit in which food or drink is given to a resident with dementia. Giving something to a resident, such as food or drink, constitutes a recurring common activity for care staff and residents and thus also provides an opportunity for talk between the resident with dementia and the care staff. However, in many cases, rather than engaging residents in talk in connection with e.g. offering of food or drink, care staff resorts to so-called ‘care speak’ (Ward, Vass, Aggarwal, Garfield, and Cybyk, 2008), i.e. neither requiring nor eliciting input from residents when accomplishing the transfer of food or drink to the resident. This article aims to show in what ways the transferrers’ interactional methods influence the opportunities for participation for the resident. The analyses show first that sequences without a preceding offer sequence are accompanied by a verbal narration of the transfer of the object during the transferring action itself, thus presuming compliance from the recipient. Second, they show that sequences in which the transfer of the object is preceded by offer sequences seek the recipient’s acceptance before carrying out the transfer. Thereby, transfer sequences preceded by offer sequences provide participants with sequential opportunities for willingly engaging in an upcoming activity as an individual with the capacity of making choices while transfer sequences without offer sequences do not. However, as we show, the organization of transfer sequences depends not only on verbal contributions but also on participants’ embodied conduct.
Andersen, E. M., Rasmussen, G., and Kristiansen, E. D. (2018). Hvad må vi så gøre? Repetitive spørgsmål og adfærdsregulerende responser i interaktion med en person med demens. Nydanske sprogstudier, 54, 33-63. https://doi.org/10.7146/nys.v1i54.98689
Antaki, C. and Wilkinson, R. (2012). Conversation analysis and the study of atypical populations. In J. Sidnell and T. Stivers (Eds.), The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, 533-550. Oxford: Blackwell-Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118325001.ch26
Atkinson, J. M. and Heritage, J. (1984). Transcript notation. In J. M. Atkinson and J. Heritage (Eds), Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis, ix-xvi. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
Bayles, K. A. and Tomoeda, C. K. (2007). Cognitive-communication Disorders of Dementia. San Diego: Plural Publishing.
Beeke, S., Maxim, J., and Wilkinson, R. (2007). Using Conversation Analysis to Assess and Treat People with Aphasia. Paper presented at the Seminars in speech and language. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2007-970571
Brouwer, C. E., Day, D., Ferm, U., Hougaard, A. R., Rasmussen, G., and Thunberg, G. (2011). Treating the actions of children as sensible: Investigating structures in interactions between children with disabilities and their parents. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 2(2), 153-182. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v2i2.153
Chatwin, J. (2013). Conversation analysis as a method for investigating interaction in care home environments. Dementia. https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301213485231
Corrigan, J. (2014). Making the most of mealtimes. In C. Baker (Ed.), Developing Excellent Care for People Living with Dementia in Care Homes, 89-104. London/Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Couper-Kuhlen, E. (2015). What does grammar tell us about action? Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), 24(3), 623-647. https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.24.3.08cou
Curl, T. S. (2006). Offers of assistance: Constraints on syntactic design. Journal of Pragmatics, 38(8), 1257-1280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2005.09.004
Davidson, J. (1984). Subsequent versions of invitations, offers, requests, and proposals dealing with potential or actual rejection. In J. M. Atkinson and J. Heritage (Eds), Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis, 102-128. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511665868.009
Davidson, J. (1990). Modifications of invitations, offers and rejections. In G. Psathas (Ed.), Interaction Competence, 149-179. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
Garfinkel, H. (1964). Studies of the routine grounds of everyday activities. Social problems, 11(3), 225-250. https://doi.org/10.2307/798722
Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Garfinkel, H. and Sacks, H. (1986). On formal structures of practical actions. In H. Garfinkel (Ed.), Ethnomethodological Studies of Work, 160-193. London: Routledge.
Goffman, E. (1971). Relations in Public: Microstudies of the Public Order. New York: Harper and Row.
Goodwin, C. (1995). Co-constructing meaning in conversations with an aphasic man. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 28(3), 233-260. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi2803_4
Goodwin, C. (2013). The co-operative, transformative organization of human action and knowledge. Journal of Pragmatics, 46(1), 8-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.09.003
Hazel, S., Mortensen, K., and Rasmussen, G. (2014). Introduction: A body of resources - CA studies of social conduct. Journal of Pragmatics, 65, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.10.007
Heath, C. (1986). Body Movement and Speech in Medical Interaction. Cambridge, Paris: Cambridge University Press/Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511628221
Heinemann, T. (2007). Professional self-disclosure: When the home help talks about herself. In C. Kerbrat-Orecchioni and V. Traverso (Eds), Confidence/dévoilement de soi dans l'interaction, 325-342. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110935103.325
Heinemann, T. (2009). Managing unavoidable conflicts in caretaking of the elderly: Humor as a mitigating resource. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2009(200), 103-127. https://doi.org/10.1515/IJSL.2009.047
Heinemann, T. (2011). From home to institution: Roles, relations and the loss of autonomy in the care of old people in Denmark. In P. Backhaus (Ed.), Communication in Elderly Care: Crosscultural Perspectives. London, 90-111. London, New York: Continuum International Publishing Group.
Hofstetter, E. and Stokoe, E. (2015). Offers of assistance in politician-constituent interaction. Discourse Studies, 17(6), 724-751. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445615602376
Holt, E. (2011). On the nature of 'laughables'. Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), 21(3), 393-410. https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.21.3.05hol
Isaksen, J. and Brouwer, C. E. (2014). Assessments in outcome evaluation in aphasia therapy: Substantiating the claim. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v6i1.71
Jansson, G. and Plejert, C. (2014). Taking a shower: Managing a potentially imposing activity in dementia care. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 5(1), 27-62. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v5i1.27
Kitwood, T. (1997). Dementia Reconsidered: The Person comes First. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Kärkkäinen, E. and Keisanen, T. (2012). Linguistic and embodied formats for making (concrete) offers. Discourse Studies, 14(5), 587-611. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445612454069
Lindholm, C. and Wide, C. (2019). Self-directed speech and dialogue in dementia care: the potential of co-participants' contributions. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, 44(1), 14-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/14015439.2019.1554853
Lindholm, C. and Wray, A. (2011). Proverbs and formulaic sequences in the language of elderly people with dementia. Dementia, 10(4), 603-623. https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301211413338
Lubinski, R. (Ed.) (1995). Dementia and Communication. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group.
Majlesi, A. R. and Ekström, A. (2016). Baking together - the coordination of actions in activities involving people with dementia. Journal of Aging Studies, 38, 37-46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2016.04.004
Miller, B. L., Darby, A., Benson, D., Cummings, J., and Miller, M. (1997). Aggressive, socially disruptive and antisocial behaviour associated with fronto-temporal dementia. The British journal of psychiatry, 170(2), 150-155. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.170.2.150
Mondada, L. (2014). The local constitution of multimodal resources for social interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 65, 137-156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.04.004
Pilesjö, M. S. and Rasmussen, G. (2011). Exploring interaction between a non-speaking boy using aided Augmentative and Alternative Communication and his everyday communication partners: Features of turn organization and turn design. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 2(2), 183-213. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v2i2.183
Pomerantz, A. (1980). Telling my side: 'Limited access' as a 'fishing' device. Sociological Inquiry, 50(3-4), 186-198. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-682X.1980.tb00020.x
Pomerantz, A. (1984). Agreeing and disagreeing with assessments: Some features of preferred/dispreferred turn shapes. In J. M. Atkinson and J. Heritage (Eds), Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis, 57-101) Cambridge, Paris: Cambridge University Press, Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511665868.008
Rasmussen, G. (2013). That's my story! Resisting disabling processes in a therapeutic activity. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, 4(2), 273-298. https://doi.org/10.1558/jircd.v4i2.273
Rasmussen, G. (2016). Repeated use of request for confirmation in atypical interaction. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 30(10), 849-870. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699206.2016.1209244
Raymond, G. and Heritage, J. (2006). The epistemics of social relations: Owning grandchildren. Language in Society, 35(5), 677-705. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404506060325
Rossi, G. (2014). When do people not use language to make requests. In P. Drew and E. Couper-Kuhlen (Eds), Requesting in Social Interaction, 303-334. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. https://doi.org/10.1075/slsi.26.12ros
Ryan, E. B., Byrne, K., Spykerman, H., and Orange, J. B. (2005). Evidencing Kitwood's Personhood Strategies: Conversation as Care in Dementia. In B. H. Davis (Ed.), Alzheimer Talk, Text and Context: Enhancing Communication, 18-36. London: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230502024_2
Schegloff, E. A. (2007). Sequence Organization in Interaction: Volume 1: A Primer in Conversation Analysis (Vol. 1). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791208
Schegloff, E. A., Jefferson, G., and Sacks, H. (1977). The preference for self-correction in the organization of repair in conversation. Language: Journal of the Linguistic Society of America, 53, 361-382. https://doi.org/10.2307/413107
Schegloff, E. A., & Sacks, H. (1973). Opening up closings. Semiotica: Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies/Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique, 8(4), 289-327. https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.19126.96.36.1999
Sundstrom, E. and Altman, I. (1976). Interpersonal relationships and personal space: Research review and theoretical model. Human Ecology, 4(1), 47-67. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01531456
ten Have, P. (1999). Doing Conversation Analysis. London, Thousand Oaks, CA, New Delhi: SAGE Publications Limited.
Torrisi, S. (2010). Social regulation in frontotemporal dementia: A case study. In A. W. Mates, L. Mikesell, and M. S. Smith (Eds), Language, Interaction and Frontotemporal Dementia, 23-48. London, Oakville: Equinox Publishing.
Ward, R., Vass, A. A., Aggarwal, N., Garfield, C., and Cybyk, B. (2008). A different story: Exploring patterns of communication in residential dementia care. Ageing and Society, 28(5), 629-651. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X07006927
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.