February is all about RELATIONSHIP, and Communication is crucial to relationship.
Truth is crucial to my relationships, (as you can imagine – given my name).
Many of my friends feel the same.
i think very often the person with dementia is not sure whether you are telling the truth or not,
but lying can create emotional barriers that were not there before.
i need to be able to trust you.
So please try to find a creative solution that does not require lying,
but also avoids the constant breaking-open of old grief.
Please Do not lie to me, but it is okay to VALIDATE then RE-DIRECT
Retired Dr Jennifer Bute suggests that when she time-travels and asks for her husband, care-providers are not to lie, but remind her using words like “… he was often away in Africa” … then encourage her to talk about special times with her husband.
From what i hear,
After a few minutes of talking about her husband, she is likely to remember that he has died on her own
without the huge traumatic element of surprise.
Naomi Feil is an American gerontologist who developed Validation therapy.
- Please Do not lie to me, but it is okay to VALIDATE then RE-DIRECT . i have always been a “Daddy’s girl”. If i am asking where my father is, you might say “Fathers are so very important. i dont believe i have met your dad — could you tell me about him?”. “What are some of your favorite times with him?” … “He was a switchman for trains, do you have any special memories about those times?” “i heard your family taught ballroom dance, what was your favorite dance?” (it was the Latin dances like Samba and Tango, LOL). Then quickly re-focus to “Let’s see if we can find a picture”, or “what does it feel like to dance?” Maybe we can find some music.
- i suspect that to successfully Re-Direct you will need to have a relationship with me that is thorough enough to understand what motivates me, and predict my most probable response. Personally, I very much want to supply needs for others, so if a new care-provider is arriving, I might suggest that you tell me “Emily would like to learn more about dementia, so she will be spending some time here this WEEK” (without mentioning any further time than that, unless it is a relief to me instead of stressor). Let me be a PARTNER in my care, as much as possible, and it would be great if “Emily” really IS interested in learning about dementia. — There are times that i have forgotten i have dementia symptoms, in which case she can be interested in learning something else that i have knowledge of — maybe Service Dogs, or card-making.
- Then immediately distract me with other things, so that i do not dwell on the future.
Grief is a long process, and it is important to not skip a bit of it, but yet … if i have spent 10 minutes crying in grief on the issue today, then next time TODAY please say “i havent seen him in quite a while, but since we are waiting for him lets do this”. Tomorrow i may need to take another 10 minutes talking about him and crying, and if i ask about him, then please encourage me to talk about him again.
How do carers FIND OUT about another person, as foundation for relationship??
Finding out about ME can be done at these pages, — and might give some ideas for similar projects for others:
About Me at https://truthfulkindness.com/about/about-me/ ;
My Favorite Things at https://truthfulkindness.com/about/about-me/favorites/ ; and
Bits ‘n’ Pieces Memoirs at https://truthfulkindness.com/bnp/ ;
… and even Family History at https://truthfulkindness.com/about/life-other/family-history-index/ ;
Vid by Richard Taylor “Please Dont Lie to Me” at https://vimeo.com/95520334 ;
Retired Dr Jennifer Bute’s website at http://www.gloriousopportunity.org/ ;
not PLwD: Validation Therapy by Naomi Feil at https://youtu.be/ESqfW_kyZq8 ;
not PLwD: “Where is Joe” by Psychologist Amanda Mullen (with Teepa Snow project) at https://teepasnow.com/blog/where-is-joe-vital-tools-for-coping-with-sundowning/ ;
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