Meet your care recipient where s/he is.
Remembering what you learned about your loved one’s disease or illness (Caregiver Tip #1) and with strength from support from other caregivers (Caregiver Tip #2), connect with your care recipient by meeting him/her where s/he is.
If she’s happy, smile and greet her enthusiastically.
If he’s sad or angry, speak to him in a lower and more calming tone.
Touch him or her and share a hug, if appropriate.
Connect with direct eye contact.
Oftentimes, we talk at one another.
We don’t really connect.
To connect, we must look into each other’s eyes.
Visualize lovers gazing into each other’s eyes–attention focused on each other, really connecting. As the disease progresses, people with dementia struggle to make sense of their world, and need the same quality of connection.
Without establishing a connection first, through direct eye contact, we cannot know how our care recipient is feeling or thinking. To have a conversation, we must establish contact.
This is the art of getting through to others–connecting first, before we can take the next step.
To connect with your care recipient, first establish eye contact and then determine where s/he is. Mood? Thoughts? Concerns?
For more information, search for these topics: caregiver, caregiver support, Caregiver TIPS, dementia