Sunday, April 8, 2012

Reading, Engaging and Communicating with an Alzheimer's Patient (Podcast, Text)


I suspect that if you stop engaging a person with Alzheimer's, talking to them all day long, they might stop talking sooner rather then later.

Reading, Engaging and Communicating with an Alzheimer's Patient

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Take the extra step. Walk the extra yard. Engage. Keep on living. Don’t be afraid to try things. Do things that you have always done together. Don’t let anyone discourage you or get in your way...

Make your own parade and have fun.

Note: I wrote and recorded this in August, 2010




Click the button above to listen. If you don't see the podcast button go here. You are welcome to comment, share or embed this podcast.

If you would like to hear my Alzheimer's patient, Dotty, read and interact with me -- go here.

The following is the transcript of the podcast for those of you that cannot listen.

the other day i put up the first podcast where everyone could hear dotty’s voice.

she was particularly Up that morning so i decided to try it for the first time.

you heard her reading a recipe that was printed in the newspaper.

some people were surprised, others emailed me and said that there Alzheimer's patient can not read that well.

a few wanted to know what stage of alzheimer’s dotty is in.

as far as reading goes, we go through the exercise you heard on the podcast several times each day. sometimes it is the same recipe over and over.

when i sit dotty down to eat, i always try and get dotty to read or comment on stories in the newspaper.

i started doing this not long after dotty was diagnosed.

some of you that have been here for a long time and know i often write about how we live our day one day at a time.

you also read about how i learned if you don’t let Alzheimer's patients do everything they can, if you start doing everything for them, then soon they will forget how to do things. once they forget it is difficult or nearly impossible for them to relearn.

i see this reading exercise as falling into both those categories.

when she reads, dotty uses her brain. i am always trying to figure out ways that i can get her to use her brain.

reading is one. listening to dotty read also gives me comfort. comfort that she can still do it. for years now i have been expected her to stop reading. to lose the ability to read. i have watched her lose other abilities one by one.

it is my belief that she can read because we do it everyday. i ask her to read the gasoline signs when we drive, to tell me the price of a gallon of gas. i ask her to read billboards or street signs when we are stopped at red lights.

I think it is important to engage in as many activities as possible.

in the case of reading this helps dotty use her brain. this also helps us to communicate with each other, to engage each other.

this engagement is an important factor in our quality of life.

i suspect that if you stop engaging a person with alzheimer’s,

repeatedly,

and all day long,

that they might stop talking sooner rather then later.

i don’t know this for a fact, it is just one of my observations that i made along the road of Alzheimer's caregiving.

Take the extra step. Walk the extra yard. Engage. Keep on living. Don’t be afraid to try things. Do things that you have always done together. Don’t let anyone discourage you or get in your way. Make you own parade and have fun.

My name is Bob DeMarco I am an Alzheimer’s caregiver. My mother Dorothy, now 94 years old, has Alzheimer's disease. We live our life one day at a time.



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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an X Wall Street executive turned full time Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,310 articles with more than 285,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room