Culture, Connections and Celebrations: how to communicate and establish rapport. Some of our senior loved ones may have some communications challenges or issues due to Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. Daphne Davis at Pinnacle Senior Placements discusses tips for making your visits go better.
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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 podcast is provided by pinnacles senior placements LLC and answers for elders radio, and welcome everyone back to answers for elders radio. As we finalized our hour and I wanted to talk to Daphney a little bit about those of us that have senior specifically with dementia, and I think that is such a huge factor that we will have loved ones with us over Thanksgiving and Christmas that may have some communication issues or having issues with dementia and Alzheimer’s. And I came across a little dementia tips a while ago on I and I think it’s really an amazing thing that I would like to talk about. And the one thing I’m just going to throw these concepts out of you definitely, and have you just kind of tell me a little bit about what you think? Sure, okay. First tip, agree. Never argue absolutely. If the sun is, you know, not out today and it’s bright and sunny, you say, Gosh, it is a little dull outside. You know, if there’s something that someone believes to be the Gospel Truth that day, you it is the it is for Gospel Truth. It is even though your mom or dad may have never believed that years ago or whatever. Their reality is their reality and there is no changing reality. Please don’t try and get them into two thousand and nineteen. If they’re hanging out in two thousand and one thousand, nine hundred and forty or sixty or seventy, let them be there. And if they talked, if they say I just talked to Dad and and where’s Dad and and and dad passed away. You know, five years ago you could say, Gee, I think dad went to the store, yeah, or something like that. It’s okay to not be truthful. Yes, you know this list will probably bring this concept up a couple of times. But it’s okay to say white lies. Yeah, we’ve been taught not to lie to anyone, and certainly not our parents. But sometimes, for the for the grace of the the moment and the things that are going on, it is not ever worth arguing. Sure, you know, if dad says that I owe him tenzero dollars and that’s the way it is, well, for that moment, you know what dad will I’ll figure that out, or I’ll look into my records or you know, it’s yeah, I’m going to look at my records to just go with it, just go with a good one. Next set. Redirect. Never Reason. Boy, let’s just start with the overall. That says you’re in communication with someone WHO’s challenged with logic, the lack of logic. So it is doesn’t do any good to try and reason, and reasoning is like because this happened, this is going to happen. That’s not going to be a part of their processing. That’s a part of one of the deficits that come with disease of dementia. And so, rather than than arguing or trying to be logical with someone, it is a redirect. So let’s give an example. Let’s say that we’re getting ready to to have lunch and they’re not hungry at all. It’s like, no, I just ate and they didn’t eat, but they’re not feeling hungry or whatever. Just say, oh well, let’s just go for a walk. You know, if you’re an assisted living or something, how about we go for a walk dad, it’s so beautiful outside today. Or I’m curious about can you that’s a great can you show Ay this? Show me this. Yes, I walk past this display in the lobby. Have you seen just completely change it and before you know what. You’re on your way to the dining room. Yes, absolutely good one. Reassure, never lecture, never lecture. Reassure, never lecture. Boy, that is a big one. What it goes back to their reality. MMM, where they’re at in terms of their life. Most often, and elder will know when that they are not always aware of their life and what their decisions are. There are moments when they know they don’t know, and so when when you’re there, reassure them that everything is okay, that let’s say that there’s an incontinent issue and usually mom or dad can ask for someone to help them. But there’s Day is now that are becoming more frequent that there might be having some accidents. MMM, don’t lecture them about that. Don’t say, Dad, you know that. This is the this is your button. It’s right here. You wear it all the time. Just push this button and they’ll help you. No, no, just say you know what, Dad, it’s just a part of life and everything’s okay, we’re going to get everything cleaned up and it’s not a problem. It’s no big deal. That isn’t the big day. It’s all good. Yeah, so reminisce, but never say remember, Oh, Gosh, it’s a hard one. Boy, if you master and I’ve heard you talk about this many times, yes, that is a hard one. Just kind of get that remember word Outt of your vocabulary. Rather it would be you know, I think, I think I have a memory of doing this with you. or I really enjoyed going fishing with you and I do you remember if we used, you know, bombers when we went fishing for that fish, or did we just feel it on the end of our poll? It’s not remember, Dad, when we used to go fishing. It’s more of telling the story of God fishing and having the conversation come with from there. Or, you know, dad, one of the favorite things I remember about our relationship was when we did this. Yes, if you can get the word remember out of there, it was. It’s even better. It’s a challenge. It’s a huge challenge to start talking about things. Or if, let’s say, something more close up, it’s well, mom, I told you that we have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. See, it’s right here on your calendar, remember. I told you. HMM, no, need to go there, because now they’re going to feel some shame. Just say, Oh, you know what I thought I talked about that. This Wednesday you have a doctor’s appointment and guess what, we’re on to the next one. Repeat. Never say I already told you it doesn’t. Just repeat it just like a pretend you never said it, because there’s no point in having someone feel shame. There’s no point in having someone go, oh my gosh, what’s wrong with me? Why didn’t I remember that? My daughter, she’s been telling me that more often. Oh my gosh, I don’t want to be a burden, it’s something happening to me. Yeah, they’re going to have those thoughts. No, no, just just say it again. Don’t even say it. Well, I know I told you that, but that’s our regular conversation with someone who has logic. You have to remember they don’t have the logic right now. Processing information is hard. Well, and you know, the thing is too again it comes back to we live very different lives than somebody that has dementia. You know, the built, the receptors are not connecting. So you know, our short term memory most often is the part that gets challenge. You know challenge. So if somebody says we have an appointment, you know next week, chances are mom or dad or not going to remember. So the differences is, hey, mom, I think I’m going to come tomorrow. We’re going to go to the doctor and then we’ll go do x, Y Z. Yes, and it’s just act like it’s a it’s a just a brand new thing. Right. So if you’re on the phone and you’re calling mom to reminder about the doctor’s appointment, it’s just like, Hey, I’m coming over to see you tomorrow. Yeah, Oh, really, how come? And and she may or may not or she oh yeah, that’s right, I have on my calendar it’s a doctor’s appointment. Then you’ve got the high five. Yep, they she remembered it that day. She can read it and put it all together and very good. These are all things that you can also apply to people who don’t have to mention also very true. It’s a respect, very true. Very true. Okay, next one. Say Do what you can. Never say. You can’t do what you can never say if you can’t. So someone says, you know, I have this bucket list and well, yeah, I want to go to the symphony tomorrow. You know, I was coming up and I heard somebody talking about the symphony and talk about you know what, let’s listen to some classical music. If you know that going to the symphony is a hardship. I mean it is a wish, but there’s mobility issues, or there’s a tension span issues or health issues of some kind. You know, I hear you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to listen to some classical music? Great Way to Segue. Yeah, that’s something that we can do. MMM, you know. Or or put it on yourself. It’s like, Oh man, I wish that we could. My schedule is so full. You know, we have to plan ahead a little more. Well, and it’s the holidays especially. There are traditions that you know, mom or dad may have been used to doing. So, for example, maybe they always had lights on their on their house. You know, instead of doing that, you know, mom or Dad, I had love to take a drive and let’s go look at Christmas lights. Yep, let’s go spend some time together. Going back to your conceptple do what you can. Figure it out, don’t you know. Don’t tell them, well, we can’t do that anymore. No, no, you don’t want to say that. Figure out what we can do. Perfect. Next concept. Ask Never Command. Oh my goodness, this will take you miles and I’m going to just pet myself on the back a little bit. This is something that I know I have mastered, and that is to ask permission all the time, to not give directives. Ask, you know, is this something that would be helpful? Whether they can compromise, you know, comprehend that or not doesn’t matter, but you have empowered them in that very moment. Love that. And if they might not know what, well, I don’t know if it’s helpful or not, but it sounded very polite. I wasn’t saying well, this is what we’re going to do. Well, you know, and I’ve noticed about what you do with people, is you tell people no decisions are being made today and we’re not doing anything that you don’t agree to. That’s right, though. So that’s the beauty of, you know, having that kind of dialog with a senior and with an elder is making sure that that is always respected. Let’s put this on a real practical level. If it’s something that you know you’re you’re visiting that day and your responsibilities as the character visiting. Let’s say they’re still in their own home and you’re getting ready to get dressed. It’s not like, well, mom, we have to get dressed now. It could be more of Hey, mom, do you feel like wearing a red blouse or a Blue Blouse today? Yes, we’re still going to get dressed, but you’ve framed it in a way that mom gets to think about a choice. She’s not choices are and everything. Yep, she’s not being commanded that this is the time that we have to get dressed and you know, might hurt to get dressed because the rough ritis or something, and just say, Oh, it’s so sunny outside. That yellow bloss that you have it so beautiful on you. Do you know where that is or can I go look for it? How does that sound to you? Today? You’re getting dressed, but it’s not commanding her. Wonderful, okay, encourage and praise, never condescend. That’s pretty obvious. Yeah, that is, and that’s with all people. That’s with all people. Find find the silver lining and in any situation it was never condescend. Yeah, it’s the praising, mom. You did such a great job on that. I am so placed with me, my mom. If she just returned my text messages, I’d be thrilled. So I know I might say Hallelujah, got back to me and you know, yeahy minutes there’s something. Yeah, but find the silver lining in something under fell. And the last one we really quick reinforce. Never Force. Absolutely. You know, mom or Dad, we’ve talked about this. You know, if they have some some recognition of things going on. This was your decision that you wanted to do this, being encouraging about these things. Not, not the force. Don’t force anyone to do it. Do you like to be forced? No, you like to be told what to do. I mean there’s never a time in our lifetime that we like to be told what to do, but but to reinforce someone else’s own decisions that they’ve made or reinforce what they’re good at. You know, you’re really good. People are going to love seeing you at the event that’s going on there. You Know Joe is just waiting for you. Dad, you’re so good at making Joe feel good. So dafite. Happy Thanksgiving and to you. And how do we reach you? You reach me at eight hundred and fifty five, seven, thirty four, one, five hundred. I’m so glad you’re here and happy Thanksgiving to everyone. The preceding podcast was provided by pinnacles. Senior placements, LLC and answers for elders. Radio. To contact pinnacles senior placements, go to Pinnacle Senior Placementscom
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.