This hour with Dementia expert Faith Marshall of Awakenings Hypnosis & Coaching deals with how to communicate with loved ones facing Alzheimer’s and dementia. This segment focuses on tips for providing energy, important for creating a flow of positive communication.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
The following Answers for Elders podcast features, author, innovator, Alzheimer’s and dementia family coach Faith Marshall. And welcome back, every one, to Answers for Elders, as we are speaking with Alzheimer’s and dementia expert Faith Marshall. And Faith, we are talking this hour – this is an incredible time, because we’re talking about communicating with those with Alzheimer’s, dementia- and we talked in our first segment for those of you that maybe just are joining us, on our first segment about you know just kind of the framework and the structure of a mind of someone with dementia.We talked the last segment about, you know, just tips and communication, and things like that. But we’re going to go to the next step in this segment and talk about energy. Energy is so important in creating kind of a flow of communication, because, obviously, if if dad or mom are, you know, obstinate or stubborn or things like that that they run into or they have a reaction to something? That’s totally weird, because that happens to does it not Faith? -Yes it does. -So obviously this is an important topic. So welcome back, Faith. And what do you? How does a family member think about energy?
-I that’s a hard thing to answer per person, but most people don’t understand how our energy can change or alter a situation, or a room. You’ve heard people talk about, “Oh when so and so got here it just, It changed the energy in the room,” and sometimes that happens because a person’s presence can either change it to the negative. If they’ve had a bad day and they’re grumpy or if they’re, very, very positive and exuding loving energy, you can feel it and most people don’t recognize it. But some people do. Some people are more energy sensitive than others. One of the fastest ways to shift the energy to positive is introducing music There’s all these different frequencies of music that can be used as well. You can use YouTube and have a calming background going, but it doesn’t have to be music that you’re going to dance or sing to, but it can be a calming environment by presenting that in the background, and I encourage people to maybe not keep the news-talk radio on, because that just has a different tone to it for some men if you’re listening to sports, that’s very uplifting for them, because it triggers memories of being at, for instance, a Seahawks game and the energy that you feel when you’re in the stadium. Just listening to that in the background or shifting to listening to a game, maybe you’ll have to record a game to play it again for them. But I encourage people to try that to shift that moment of obstinance that you might be encountering right, you might have to park the whole idea of trying to get in the shower right now, but just work on shifting the energy first. So that then you’re in a more cooperative state.
Well- and I think you made a really important statement that when somebody enters the room and they can bring down the whole room, if you’re having a family gathering and mom or dad are in a mood, it can change the whole dynamic of the mood, and sometimes it’s almost better to ignore the mood, because that you know, obviously you know, that person in all my Tony Robbins experience, the person that is most committed to the emotional state is the one that will invent end up affecting the other person. So you learn that in sales you learn that in you know, in any sort of area of influence, is you know to a certain degree, even though somebody might be cranky, it’s probably because they’re fearful, they might feel vulnerable and that’s their way of protecting themselves, because they may not feel safe in the environment, and it may not have anything to do with the fact that you know that family members are that you are physically safe. It might mean that they are not necessarily tracking or having a good day. They might not feel good at feel well and they don’t know how to explain it. I know my mom whenever I knew right away when she was starting to get a UTI, because that would trigger a higher degree of dementia, and she’d start get the paranoia, because she didn’t feel good, and that was just how she operated. So I know with with a lot of the times we just don’t think about little things like that of how can we specifically deal with the energy hand?
And part of that sometimes is the fact that just ignore the the barbs and the you know the things that come out, because those are normal, but just stay the course in a positive light. I mean, wouldn’t you say, that’s true yeah and, and we don’t have to have a conversation to shift their energy. You can just learn on whatever music. You think you know that helps them as you can. You can use music with my mom, because she was a dancer. We could. We knew which songs that she had learned to dance to and she would it would trigger not consciously, but unconsciously, it would change it. It helped to shift her mood, so you just have to be mindful of the whole environment, not just the conversation. The whole environment pets are a really good indicator of what the energy is. That’s happening. If you’ve ever had a friend come to visit, and you don’t you don’t sense anything, but your dog inadvertently growls at them and that’s a big signal to listen to or the dog will not leave them alone. They just love them, they’re all climbing all over them, because they love that energy. Using that as a gauge or an awareness, I guess, is what I’m trying to say is that we don’t always realize what energy were exuding if we just had a crappy day at work check yourself at the door before you come in to visit mom, because you’re going to bring that in into the room with you.
So the tools that are best are music and smells – fragrances. Fragrances can trigger a memory and a comb for my mom. She loved Sierra perfume, and she stockpiled that stuff, my goodness she had it and she she hoped it was going. They were, they were pulling it off the shelves, and so we found so much of the Sierra perfume as a very strong fragrance. I remember it, but, but sometimes I would put it on when I went to visit her and it was a pleasant smell for her. I don’t, I really don’t believe she consciously realized it. You know, like she didn’t say, you’re wearing my perfume like she would have before you can use all kinds of things. Essential oils are wonderful, lavenders, very calming diffusing oils. Just there’s so many things that we can all learn about, and I’d love to be a resource for our listeners on that and have a list of things they can try. And it’s not always about the pill.
The doctor gives them there’s so much more than we that we can do to help upwell and- and you bring up so many valuable points, because it really depends on your loved one. Think about again back to what we first talked about is what are the things that are important to them. My father was a a j, you know a big Van Piano, a player and he played the piano amazing. You know he loved big band music and as of course, that was something that was important to dad my mom. On the other hand, she was very artistic and she would she would, you know, draw with oil, pastels, and so I remember getting her a art book and she drop even like later in her life. She did these amazing pictures of her. You know and but then again she used to be a knitter and she tried to knit again, but that it was too much for her. So sometimes you have to try a little bit with trial and error, see you know what will dial them into the mode, but it was amazing to me to watch her draw to pay.
You know to quote unquote paint, and she did these amazing pictures like better than I’d ever seen and but then it of course, as things progressed in her life, then they got a little bit more and more bizarre, but you and she would draw kind of the same thing over and over again, which is kind of interesting as well. Yeah. No that’s great and gardening can be another thing that can can ground them depend like, depending on what their favorite things are right as flower beds, though everyone yeah yeah yeah, so the memory book can come in Handy with knowing what their favorites are and then you know sometimes it’s not the family, it’s not the family, that’s dealing with them! So that’s where those tools really do help with a caregiver yeah. I used to travel and send postcards to mom as to where I was and the caregivers love that, because they would have the card and say you know she’s in London right now, she’ll be back. You know it says: She’ll be back a certain date, but then mom would go off talking about her days in London, because that was a distant memory for her that she could remember so, there’s all kinds of tools that we can yet- and I I had someone speaking of that I had someone that actually prepared postcards way in advance before they left and they left him with the nurses station.
There you go with memory care and every day mom got a note from from daughter, because she was on vacation, that’s perfect! That was great and was like. It took her like twenty minutes, so that was a family that I talked to and I thought wow what a smart idea of the fact of just staying connected and I’m thinking of you and you’re just making up stuff. They don’t care, but it’s the point of the matter of inclusion again of making sure that you have some sort of an ability to do that and and bring that energy forward, and I think the other thing just really to close out the segment. We have about an a minute left, as I want to t talk basically about your own energy when you walk in the door- and I think some of us are really busy- we are on you know a type a you know we may be coming from work there, we’re in a hurry, we’re thinking about swinging by to see mom or dad. You know before we go home and so we’re just on an agenda right, and it’s really important, I think, is to stop before we walk on the door. Take a deep breath, check out your own state because you talked about at the beginning of our segment about pal pets. Pick it up or our loved one will pick it up, be you know, even because we might be answering something too quickly or you know being impatient because we’re trying to get done. It’s like you know. We have to take off the time clock and we have to take the time necessary. The best way to clear you for me.
The best way to clear my energy is to three deep breaths, and I say that because we don’t realize that when we’re anxious we’re not breathing correctly we’re not we’re not exhaling, so full exhaling and sometimes I’ll, take my shoes off and just stand on the actual earth and or there’s all kinds of things that people do like carrying grounding crystals in their pocket and everybody is different, but you know best what your tool is that works for you, but checking yourself is a big thing and just breathe that doesn’t matter, I’m leaving that in the parking lot and I’m walking in and I’m seeing mom it doesn’t matter that I burn dinner, it doesn’t matter whatever happened. I just need to be present for mom and being present and being present in a loving way is well that’s important and everyone, Faith will be right back to close up this hour right after this. – Thank you.
We would like to thank you for joining us in this podcast faith is here to support you and your family on this journey. She will help you to come together in harmony, creating the best team and advocating for your loved one’s care, so call Faith at 855-363-2484 to receive a $200 gift card just by mentioning that you’ve heard these podcasts.
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Originally published October 03, 2021