"Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.” - Anonymous
As a counsellor, I thought I could handle most situations, however nothing could have prepared me emotionally for when I stepped into the very unique world that is dementia. Allow me to take you on a journey of communication; of which may leave you feeling frustrated, sad, happy, helpless, but never bored.
How to connect with someone, be it a loved one, friend or neighbour, who has dementia, is all about making the effort. If you can imagine losing all of your memories and trying to make sense of the world you live in, how scared would you be? Let me introduce you to Janet, and how through patience, love and understanding, we formed a friendship - of which I feel privileged to be a part of.
Through her eyes, I will share with you how to make it easier to communicate with someone just like her.
Do not be impatient. I need time to speak. Very often I am searching for the right word which is lying buried under a heap of words in my brain.
If I lose my way, hold my hand, do not let me feel embarrassed by finishing my sentences.
I sometimes need a gentle reminder for those times when I go blank. If it's about a special event, do not think it wasn't special for me as well.
Please don't have the television on. I need to concentrate on talking and listening.
Remember I am here, and sometimes all I need is your warm smile, your sense of humour, and your patience.
Lessons from this article:
Patience and understanding are key elements in communicating.
You may not always get it right, however this is how we learn and grow.
A gentle touch, caring smile and laughter can communicate much more than words.