Lost in Technology
By: Michelle Remold
In the past I have written about how communication about Alzheimer’s and dementia is, in general, important for increasing knowledge and awareness. However, great communication skills are also needed to have meaningful interaction with anyone, especially those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
I think in a world full of emails and texting, we are losing the value of face to face interaction. Face to face interaction is very important when communicating with people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. From experiences growing up, I learned that I would get a better response from my grandpa if I sat face to face with him at his eye level while talking to him. He might only give me a smile or make eye contact for a short amount of time, but I knew that he knew I was talking to him and not to someone else.
I have recently again found this technique to work well for me. I have interacted with people that others will say don’t respond to anything and show no response what so ever. However, when I visit with them, sit face to face, at their level, and make eye contact, I get responses. The responses might not be an answer to a question, but they might be a laugh, a smile or a glint in their eye.
I think that with all technology gives us that is beneficial, it is also taking away from our everyday face to face interaction. I don’t think that anything can take away from the interactions that take place when someone takes the time to sit and talk with someone face to face. It doesn’t matter if it is day to day interactions or interacting with someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, face to face communication is invaluable.
Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.