DRT for Communication: Erase / Re-Write Problems

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SUMMARY:  Erase/re-write skills are malfunctioning, so I am poor at task-transition.  Suggest pre-planning with steps involved.  While project is on-going, whenever a change in task or physical location is going to take place, verbally state “Now (my name) we are going to change task/location …” … then pause before instructions for next step.

…       ***       …       ***       …       ***       …

DETAIL on Dementia Relationship Tip for Communication in Projects:  Pre-Planning and Task Transition

Tru here.  On-going process of communication problems for task completion.  Each attempt finds more communication problems so thought if I write them maybe we can remember to implement work-around.

Just like before she had symptoms, Grammy (who had dementia) and my mother (her care-partner) had a major project every day, whether it was canning, gathering wood, or simply laundry.  Usually Grammy’s participation greatly increased the steps or time necessary for the project, making a short project into a full-day project.  But Mom felt that, like their daily walk was necessary for her physical health, Grammy’s participation in “family” projects was very important for her psycho-social well-being.

Like Grammy, I enjoy participating in whatever the current project is; it makes me feel like I am more than a “consumer”.  Whether the project is house construction (our home is still very much “unfinished”), washing our almost-14-year-old Newfoundland dog, or simply putting clean sheets on the bed, I think it is healthy for all concerned if I can take part in “family” projects.

However, my “erase/re-write” function is malfunctioning, so I don’t transition well from one task to a DIFFERENT task in the project.  This creates problems for smooth processing of projects:

Trying to help wash dog but I am still stuck on your last instructions
and so I hear the words … but what you say is not registering
in such a way that I can put those words into action.

There have been repeated problems with this every time we try to wash the dog, so I took notes immediately afterward.

Suggested Scenario:

  1. Immediately before project begins, first step is to verbally review all the steps of project, physically going to any change of location.  Sometimes pictures are needed.
  2. Then, as example, if the project is washing dog, AFTER preliminary project review, you might start with my name and make sure you have my undivided attention before you state goal of task then specifically what my role will be: “I need the dog to stand and not move until we finish getting the soap on, so please stand at her head and … ” — then we start that task.
  3. When finished with that step you might say, “Now (my name) we are going to change task – (PAUSE moment for me to mentally catch up with your thought before you go on with instructions for next step of project);  “I want the dog to go inside and stand on porch while we towel-dry her behind, so please stand right there (mark or point to specific spot on porch) … and do not let her go past you.”  Note that after many problems with this we have discovered that if I need to move from one place to another place during the task then I often need something to stand on in order to remember where I need to be when moving from one place to the other — even if it is just two washcloths.
  4. When ready, “Okay (my name) we are going to change task again (pause) … I want the dog to go into house and lay on bed.  So please …”
  5. When finished, rejoice TOGETHER (( smile )).

…       ***       …       ***       …       ***       …

Summary Suggestions:
1) Go over the various steps together BEFORE project begins.
2) Use partner name before verbalizing fact that there will be a CHANGE of task or location.
3) PAUSE between preparation for task transition and verbalizing SPECIFICALLY what you wish partner to do during this next task.
4) Remember to CELEBRATE joint participation.

  • Remember I said that I have been making more mistakes?  Well apparently at some point of revision I pushed the wrong button and this blog entry went out as an unfinished piece … and with no graphic.  I didn’t realize it until an hour later (( growl-snarl ))

* Admin issues: SHARE dementia awareness thru buttons below. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the form of comments, but please filter your comments with truthful loving kindness to all concerned. If interested in receiving notice of future blog postings, subscriptions are available through a “follow” button in the upper left corner (MS Explorer) or lower right (Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Chrome). If there is an advertisement below, I have no control over what is shown. My own full legal name is Truthful Loving Kindness. My current diagnosis is Mild Cognitive Impairment, but my neurologist said I am in a unique position for helping because I have “one foot in each door”. Text for this page took 3 hrs. Copyright 2016-02/15. Graphic 2hrs

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2 thoughts on “DRT for Communication: Erase / Re-Write Problems

  1. The way you explain the need for specific instruction, is wonderful. We don’t realize how much we take for granted.
    With Dementia, we need to be more specific. I understand what you’re saying. We need to speak and let you “catch up”. Then speak again.
    A lot of people don’t have the patients and won’t try. Patients is needed. I think it’s very important.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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