Jun 9, 2012

Alzheimer's Communication Tip -- "Touching"

One of the biggest challenges that Alzheimer's Caregivers face is how to communicate effectively. This challenge is particularly difficult when the person living with Alzheimer's is mean.

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For me, I decided to address this challenge head on (no pun intended). I am fortunate because I studied communication in college and grad school.

Way back when, I decided to try this technique.

Everyday, early in the morning, I bend down and say something nice and positive to my mother. While doing this, I put my forehead on her forehead. I try to get her to smile and say "yes". I call this the positive reinforcement part of the process. When I say something nice, and she responds yes --it anchors her.

When my mother says something mean and nasty to me like,
"get out, I can take care of myself".
I smile at her, put my head against her forehead, and say something positive like,

"I am here, and I am not going anywhere". While my forehead is still attached to hers I add something like, "we are both here to take care of each other, we need each other".
It works.

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