Solving the Dementia Puzzle One Piece at a Time!! Part 2
Welcome to the second in the series focusing on living with a loved one who has dementia. Learning communication tips will help you meet the challenges that can make your time together successful.
DIVERT – NEVER TRY TO REASON
Let me share a story. Harold’s wife was always asking to go see her dad. Her dad has passed away 5 years earlier. Harold tried reality: “Your dad is dead.” That always promoted a very unhappy exchange. Following the same theme he tried: “Now you know better than that.” Same negative result. He tried changing the subject: “Let’s have some ice cream.” In a very unhappy voice she said, “You go eat ice cream, I want to go see my dad.” Nope, no success yet.
Diversion works best when the topic you bring up relates to their goal. We explored options utilizing that idea. In a very excited voice he tried: “I was thinking about your dad’s wonderful beef stew! Couldn’t believe he used parsnips in it! Never knew I liked parsnips!’ She smiled and began to talk about his beef stew and how he tried to teach her how to make it. And the diversion worked.
Applying old good memories that relate to the subject often seems magical. Since some topics resurface frequently knowing the trigger, wanting to see her dad and knowing a good memory about her dad, parsnips in beef stew, is the homework you need to do to be ready.
The more related good stories you have, the easier diversion is. You might need a couple of related topics in your pocket but this approach leads to more successes.
Need more in-depth discussion? Check out my workbook I WAS THINKING here or simply give me a shout for a little help.
Give these a try, celebrate your success and watch for our next Newsletter!