“Dementia Mini Series” Part 9
Live in THEIR reality. It’s all about THEIR perception.
Welcome to the ninth in the series focusing on talking with a loved one who has short-term memory loss. Learning communication tips will help make the time together successful.
One of the most frequent stumbling blocks family members face is the “Whose Reality Challenge”. As I’ve talked with family members I am convinced that addressing this change can make a world of difference. This change is in your hands. When the concept of THEIR perception equals THEIR reality is adopted, conflict, frustration and anger are drastically reduced for everyone.
It is difficult to accept that your loved one can no longer live in your reality. If they could they would – but they can’t.
It is true there are times when they seem to be able to enter what you see as reality, but you cannot rely on that occurring due to the inconsistency and unpredictability of their thought process.
Since they are comfortable in their reality, it is very important they we know their reality and have the tools to help them express themselves.
An example is the person who continues to ask for their deceased family member. The first instinct is to tell them that person is dead – your reality. This message often results in the same feelings they experienced when the death occurred.
Assisting them to visit their loved one through good stories about that person or through pictures allows them to think about that person without feeling they are wrong – their reality.
Living in their reality makes for successful conversations while giving your loved one and you good memories that last.
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