NOVEMBER 1, 2011
COPING WITH CARGIVING
THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION
By Susan Kohler, MSCCCSLP
Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist
Caregiving should help you feel a sense of accomplishment, in helping you care for your loved one with Alzheimers, or related dementias. The difficulties that arise however, from the communicative and cognitive deficits, create stressful situations for you, the caregiver, in daily activities and interactions.
Coping with these stressful situations requires patience and practice of good communication techniques in caring for your loved-one.Safe, cooperative communicative interactions with daily care, reduces stress and the burdens associated with caregiving responsibilities.
You can have a truckload of supportive help, agencies, and organizations, but if no one is using good communication techniques with the person in your care, safety and cooperation will not ensue and the stress barometer will rise!
The following is taken from a wonderful caregiving group I led in 2009. We discussed the need to learn good coping skills as caregivers, and that this heavily demanded the use of solid communication techniques as the foundation for safe care, with ease from burden for the caregiver, and improved cooperation and enjoyment for the person with dementia.
I encourage you to see where you fit in with our discussion. Do you use some of the techniques already? Are there some you can try? Where are you in creating an emotional connection? How can this increase the quality of life for you and the person in your care? The group shared their ideas and experiences in a spirit of support for each other. They want to share their feelings with others who are dealing with the burdens of caring for loved-ones with Alzheimers and other dementias.
I hope you enjoy the beautiful insight from the participants in this caregiving group. While the ideas shared by the caregivers came from their gathering in 2009, further information and strategies in communicating with loved-ones, can be found in the recommended reading text used in this caregiving session, How To Communicate With Alzheimers by Susan Kohler, MSCCCSLP.
(continued next week...)