Communicate with Someone Who Can No Longer Speak

OldMan_ashkan-forouzani-Cxkcw7K7v6g-unsplash_smallPhoto credit Ashkan Forouzani

Years ago, I stumbled upon a video that remains vivid in my mind. In it, an elderly couple who had spent a lifetime devoted to one another was coping with the wife’s late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. The wife lived in a nursing home and was unhappy, aggressive, and even combative with the staff. Her condition had robbed her of her ability to communicate, so no one knew what was upsetting her or how to help her relax. Instinctually, the husband decided he would do what he’d always done: he climbed into her bed with her and held her. He cuddled with her, stroked her face, and told her he loved her. He spent hours just snuggling and holding her. Slowly, his wife responded. This angry, difficult woman became easier for the staff to handle.

Continue reading on Agingcare for more about how we can better communicate with an adult - especially someone with dementia - who cannot speak.

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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Communicate with Someone Who Can No Longer Speak