Does face to face conversation have a positive effect on attitude and behavior among the elderly and persons living with dementia?
I took care of my mother from November 17, 2003 until the day she went to Heaven on May 25, 2012. 3,112 days.
When it all started she was "meaner than a junkyard dog". But then over time, she became sweeter, nicer, kinder, and more alive.
To this day I continually ask myself, Why?
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
Was it the exercise in the gym? The daily injections of bright light? Or, was it socialization, daily face to face communication?
There can be no doubt that when we finally returned to the world, after about 18 months, my mother's attitude and behavior started to gradually improve. By this I mean, once we decided to start living our life in spite of Alzheimer's things changed - changed for the better.
Those of you that were here back in the 2009 - 2012 period saw and heard this happen in the videos and podcasts.
Here is what Dotty looked like in 2005
And here is what she looked like in 2011.
Dotty had that dull look on her face for about 2 years. The period I describe as heartbreak.
It happened in part because I allowed her to become and remain dull. I guess you could say for those 2 years I bought into the stigma attached to Alzheimer's, and, we were more or less living in a cave.
This changed when I started paying more attention to her, and decided we had to get back out into the world and start living our life.
A big part of what we started doing was get Dotty out, into the world, meeting people and talking to people. I know for some this seems near impossible. Keep this in mind, in the beginning Dotty wasn't talking much at all. And, she certainly wasn't talking to other people.
However, once we got back in the swing of things she started talking away to anyone that would listen.
It started for the most part once I started taking her to the Banana Boat on Friday nights. Read and consider - Dotty Had Dementia Friends, and They Are Wonderful People.
There can be little doubt that the introduction of Harvey into our lives changed things in a way I could never have imagined.
Not only did Dotty talk to Harvey for about 2 hours a day, she started asking for him as soon as she woke up each morning.
Imagine, Dotty couldn't remember much of anything, but somehow she remember Harvey and asked for him all the time. Also imagine this, Dotty was already in the moderate to severe stage of dementia before we stumbled on to Harvey. Read this article and get your own Harvey - The Best Alzheimer's Caregiver Tool of Them All, Harvey.
If you are having problems with your loved one I suggest you read the articles under the links below. I feel confident that you can change your own lives the same way we did.
These are links to our database. You will find a list of articles pertaining to the topic on each page.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 5,000 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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