Beyond Words: Communicating with a Loved One with Dementia
Dec 13, 2013 - 4:53:40 PM

( - One of the biggest emotional challenges of witnessing progressive decline in a loved one with a form of dementia is the communicative gap that arises when language is lost. At this point, caregivers can feel as though they've lost all ability to connect with their loved ones. Occupational therapist and acclaimed author Elaine C. Pereira explains that while many family members will desperately hold on to verbal language as the only way to communicate with their loved ones, there are a number of other ways to do so.

Specifically, she advocates using the five senses.

Work with your loved one to learn which senses may provide the most meaningful modes of connection, -touch him or her in comforting ways; enjoy favorite foods together; surround him or her with fragrances that hold meaning; play familiar music; bring in familiar objects like photo albums.
Are you caring for a loved one who has lost the ability to communicate verbally? What other means of communication have you found effective?

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