Monday, February 19, 2007

Communication Barriers

She was happy to see me yesterday. I’ve been so busy at work and then 5 inches of show on top of that, kept me away from Hillcrest this last week. She had plenty of Valentines so she didn’t entirely miss my cookie or chocolate, but when she saw me she reached out and grabbed me and gave me a smack on the cheek. I didn't even have the chance to tell her I brought her Valentine's.

The communicating is the hardest part. When I ask her straightforward questions she can answer “yes” or “no” or sometimes you’ll get an “I don’t think so” but when she starts babbling it’s hard to keep up. Yesterday she talked about the “others” and how they don’t notice her… so I start up with the questions: “Is it the nurses?” “No.” “Is it Bernice?” “No.” “What about the other residents here?” “No.” “Well then who?” “I don’t know, the other people!” The typical pattern is after a while she starts to get frustrated and then gets stuck on her words, so no words come out and then it’s all growling and mumbling.

Whatever she was thinking about yesterday she sure had a lot to say about it.

When lunch came around she was panting, and I couldn’t get the cover off the food fast enough before she started to poke her spoon around and shove food in her mouth. She fed herself, and mom said she hasn’t done that in awhile so I felt good about the day, in that she was chit-chatty and feeding herself. Also got a few stories from the nurses about her busy-butt going around in other people's rooms and getting into things. I'm continually amazed at how well she gets around in her wheelchair. She's got very strong arms.


Anonymous Mona Johnson said...

Holly, I think it's just important that you visit - the quality of the conversation probably doesn't matter. You're a good granddaughter.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Karma said...

The best friend's guide talks about just letting people with Alzheimer's go with their conversations. Instead of asking questions to clarify, respond by going along even if it doesn't make sense, is basically the theory.

Its really nice of you to visit her so often. I'm sure she appreciates you.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous David Thomas said...

Hi..............thought you might be interested in this.

I just published a post to join the Dementia Webring so you can share similar interests and concerns with others! A ring will help more visitors find you quickly and easily by using the RingSurf Viewer which lets you navigate easily between sites in your ring

There is also a link on the top left of my blog if you decide to join or browse at a later date.

David Thomas MD

4:50 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

I spent 3.5 years working in an Alzheimer’s/Long Term Care facility in Utah and I know the difficulties and pains associated with this disease. I personally got to know some great people afflicted with Alzheimer’s and I also became close with some of their families. I’ve seen a lot of resources that help. One in particular seems to be a great benefit:
Please pass this link along to anyone you feel could benefit from it.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous EMR said...

You try to meet her is the important thing dont bother about the conversation.

6:50 AM  
Blogger karen said...

Just talk . Believe me they will listen.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous family resource network said...

Hi, i work for the Family Resource Network in Brick, New Jersey. We are a non profit organization supporting those with developmental disabilities and their family with resources.

We are having a National Caregivers Conference on October 26th, 2010 in iselin, NJ. Please check our website out to attend and for more information:

If interested, please post this on your blogs so we can spread the word! Thank you!

11:36 AM  
Blogger Anna Ashmore said...

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10:49 AM  
Anonymous John Mitchell said...

Thank you very much for the interesting post.Communication barriers , unfortunately really exists.
Keep sharing

7:07 AM  
Blogger healthsouk said...

I think we need a better system for these kind of dental problems and woes. It seems like everyone is having problems with their teeth and it looks like we are about to enter yet another recession. . .I’m honestly a little scared these days about how I can support my family. We need to have a discussion on REAL resources out there to help single mothers like us take care of our family... I know about (HealthSouk) and (1800 Dentist)

but are there any other great organizations that help people get connected to doctors for discounted health prices that can help? We don’t qualify for government assistance!

Thomas Little

4:44 AM  

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