(excerpted from chapter 4, pages 54-55)

Strategy #7 - Use Touch

The use of touch in communication is very important. It can calm and reassure us. It can be used to provide a non-verbal form of communicating information.

Touch also provides basic affection that all human beings need. Touch can say "I love you."

A wonderful way to use touch can be upon approach to let the person know you are there, especially if they have difficulty seeing or hearing. Touch will assure them of your friendly intentions. It also lets them know you are about to talk to them which will raise their attention and give them a moment to begin processing information.

Picture from the book How to Communicate with Alzheimer's

Strategy #7 - Use Touch
The Do's and Don'ts

  • Don't be afraid to use touch
  • Use it upon approach to signal a person who may not be able to see you or hear you approaching
  • Use it throughout your conversation to sustain attention
  • Use it to calm and reassure
  • Use it for attention
  • Use touch to reinforce attention on specific information
  • Use it to communicate non-verbally
  • Use it to say "I love you"

How to Communicate with Alzheimer’s - Susan Kohler How to Communicate with Alzheimer’s
Susan Kohler
April 2004
Spiral Bound
152 pages
$17.95/$23.95 Can.