Communicating with love
Do any of you know how to communicate effectively with someone who has mid to late stage Alzheimer’s? I am learning more about that every day with my mom. I spent the day with my parents yesterday and we had a lovely visit with some dear old family friends. We sat in their beautiful garden drinking iced tea in the sun. And as lovely as the visit was, my mom wasn’t present. Because of her now entering her later stages of Alzheimers she needs to be communicated with differently than we are used to. Our friends all sat talking about the things we usually do: Politics, the cost of living, current events, etc. And we chatted in the way we usually do: all talking at once, talking quickly, with great concerned looks on our faces. Why doesn’t this work for my mom? At her stage she no longer recognizes who people are around her for very long and she can’t follow quick conversation or understand the context or content we are discussing. I noticed her withdrawing and retreating. You may know what that looks like - a very blank stare, wide-eyed and quiet. Now, don’t be sad, here’s how you CAN communicate with someone who has Alzheimer’s to make sure they are a part of your gathering and feel secure.⠀
1) Touch: I reached out and held her hand, rubbing it softly. ⠀
2) Smell: I had her smell the roses that were beside her chair. ⠀
3) Vision: I pointed out the beautiful shadows from the trees dancing on the lawn and kept a bright happy look on my face.⠀
4) Hearing: The tone and rhythm of my voice can be soothing and reassuring. I always speak to her with joy in my voice.⠀
5) Intent: She can always tell the intent behind what your saying or doing if your doing it with LOVE. ⠀
⠀To sum it up: we, and our loved ones living with Dementia, benefit most when we step inside their world rather than trying to keep them in ours.
Please share this if you know someone that might benefit. 💕⠀
*Shown here is one of my paintings printed on a phone case - these paintings are inspired by what I’ve learned caretaking for my elderly parents. These can be purchased in the LIFESTYLE section only website.