Lost in Technology

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.

4 Replies to “Lost in Technology”

  1. This is another lovely example of how people with dementia can teach others! We are all lost in the web which was meant to bring us closer but in many ways, forever pushes us further apart. We all need to create a social connection to our fellow men but less through technology and more by physical embrace and understanding of our fellow men!

  2. Face to face contact is so important when communicating with people with dementia as your post states. In our community, I’ve organized a group of women, called Lady-Links, who make friendship visits to two ladies who have dementia. We spend an hour with each one on a regular basis doing crafts and activities that they enjoy and can successfully complete. I hope you will read about our model for friendship visits at http://www.Lady-Links.com to see how we enrich the lives of these two women, and in doing so, enrich our own lives as well.

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