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Three Ways to Talk to People Living with Alzheimer’s
Posted By Tom and Karen Brenner On July 29, 2013 @ 1:13 pm In Blogs | No Comments
For people living with Alzheimer’s it is often difficult, if not impossible, to begin a conversation or engage with another person. When we try to talk with a person who has memory loss, we are often greeted with the thousand mile stare. There just seems to be nothing there. For family members and friends this is, of course, heartbreaking. Is there anything that can be done; is there any way to reach people who seem to be un-reachable?
The short answer is yes! The following three techniques are simple and effective ways to reach out to those living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Over the past ten years, we have used these techniques to create moments of joy and connection for dementia patients, the staff who care for them, and their loved ones.
People living with Alzheimer’s find it very difficult to begin conversations or engage with other people. They cannot remember how to start a discussion, they cannot begin to connect out of thin air. By giving them meaningful objects to hold, whether from nature or from their own lives, we give them a starting point, a way to connect again.
We have seen people who seemed lost in their own world suddenly wake up and be present with us by using these simple but highly effective techniques. We may have the people we care for with us for only a few moments, but in those moments, there can be real heartfelt connection once again. We measure success by a fleeting smile, the squeeze of a hand, wide awake eyes. In caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s, we encourage you to celebrate each moment of recognition, each gesture of connection, every laugh and every smile!
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