1. Mason, Mary Beth PhD, CCC-SLP
  2. Serianni, Robert W. MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP
  3. Julian, Abigail BA


Context: The purpose of this article is to describe the typical aging process and compare this to mild cognitive impairment and early symptoms of dementia, specifically cognitive-communicative and swallowing deficits, to help professionals better identify dementia in the care of community-based adults.


Objective: To evaluate the role and importance of the speech-language pathologist in early identification and management of dementia. Suggested interprofessional considerations for best practice for early identification, management, and referral are also addressed.


Conclusion: Speech-language pathologists are critical for assessing and treating those with early stages of dementia and mild cognitive impairment. It is critical for medical professionals to recognize the speech pathologist's role in treating those with cognitive impairments and swallowing disorders.