Speak To The Heart

Speak To The Heart

By: Michelle Remold

We often do things that are seemingly minute to us, but these things can mean a great deal to others. Imagine that you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Little by little your memory fades away. Not only would you forget how to do things like use the microwave and cook, but you forget your family and friends and are no longer able to express your feelings; however, you are in there somewhere.

This would make it very difficult not only for you to communicate with others, but for others to communicate with you as well. If you are unable to use words to communicate with others, it is important to find other ways to communicate with them. The small things we can do to communicate with those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia are numerous. You can communicate through touch: a hug, holding hands, a back rub; you can communicate with them by being attentive to their needs: combing/brushing their hair, cleaning their glasses; or talking to them and not expecting a response back: tell them how nice they look, how nice their smile is – everyone likes a compliment.

All in all, at the end of the day the way you do things like hold their hand and give them a reassuring smile, that is what lets them know it will be okay. These seemingly insignificant things are what speak volumes, often without having to say a single word; these things are what speak to someone’s heart.

So when it becomes difficult to hold a conversation with someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, try holding their hand or giving them a smile. You may not know what they are thinking, but that smile or a pat on the back might be just what they need. It’s not always the big things, but rather the small things that speak to the heart.

???????????????????????????????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.

5 Replies to “Speak To The Heart”

  1. This suggestion goes hand-in-hand with something that a widow in her late 60s told me late last year. She lives alone in a 55+ community that has a gym area that includes a swimming pool, indoor track, weight/exercise room, etc. This gym also provides professional massages. My friend, the widow about whom I speak, said she gets massages so that she can have human touch as a part of her life. There are far too few hugs in her life, and no one who has taken the place of her husband who died approximately eight years ago.

    Everyone needs connectivity. In the case of those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, many of them even lack the give and take communication that we tend to take for granted. It’s nice that our efforts of providing a hug, a hand-hold, or brushing someone’s hair, and the like, would go a long way towards providing the needed connectivity that the recipient is not able to voice.

  2. Wow, what a great thread! You can also check out this cool product from MIT which helped a lot of seniors especially those who has dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease or any other mental health problems. It is in a form of cute and talkative puppy! Here is the link of their site http://www.gerijoy.com/


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