“Dementia Mini Series” Part 8
Please Don’t Scold Me!
Welcome to the eighth 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.
I’m almost 100% that there is no reader who sets out to make their loved one feel scolded. But I’m also almost 100% sure it happens too frequently. As we work to drag them back into our reality by correcting their thinking our statements are taken as scolding. Let’s see how that would look.
Any phrase that starts with “You know”, “You remember” or “You realize” begin the “you’re less than whole” message.
Loved one: “I want to see my dad.”
Response: “You realize he died 15 years ago. You keep forgetting.”
Loved one: “Please give me my checkbook, I want to pay my bills.”
Response: You remember that you made lots of mistakes and I took over taking care of your bills.”
Loved one: “What do you want me to do now?”
Response: “You know you ask me that over and over. I’ve already answered it a million times.”
Words matter. Here are just a few suggestions to change the exchange for the better.
MISSING DECEASED: Let them “visit” that person/or pet by bringing up something pleasant. “I was thinking your dad was a great mechanic.”
CHECKBOOK: Let them write the checks and pay the bills and you take the checks to mail them….right into the paper shredder. Use checks from a closed account perhaps. More checks are less expensive than the cost that comes with scolding them.
REPETITIVE QUESTIONS: Repetitive answers.
Reducing confrontations over little issues will give you more energy to handle the bigger challenges.
Changing the results of conversations is in your hands.
Capture long-term memories you can use to make every exchange with them make both of you feel successful and useful. Need a place to record those memories? Take a look at my Book and DVD Bundle.
FOLLOW UP TO COPING WITH DEMENTIA – FAMILY CARE PARTNER CONFERENCE
Missed this great conference? A video is now available! Click Conference Website and select the Presenters’ page. The video of the conference is broken into half-day sessions with the links listed in red on the Presenters Page. My session is the first one in the Day Two link!