A Simple Trick to Communicate with a Dementia Patient
Dementia patients with their live-in caregivers in Singapore encounter many communication challenges together. Dementia patients don’t only forget their most recent days but also their ability to do simple tasks like bathing and grooming themselves. The good news is that, there is a simple trick that may persuade the elderly to interact with his caregiver more and to do some tasks willingly. This trick is called Reminiscence Therapy.
What is Reminiscence Therapy?
Reminiscence therapy is simply recalling the elderly patient’s important past events to develop positive feelings and to reduce depression or stress. He may not remember his most recent memories but he will most likely remember his good old days. For dementia patients, these are still vivid memories until the dementia worsens.
The best part of this therapy is the fact that everyone can facilitate it– the Indonesian caregiver or Filipino caregiver, the elderly’s children, or even his grandchildren. However, it only takes some patience, effort, and enthusiasm. It’s also worthy to take note that the therapy can drastically improve the relationship between the live-in caregiver in Singapore and the elderly patient.
Eden Grace Caregivers Agency would like to help you and your elderly patient to get along together. Here are just some simple steps to do the reminiscence therapy.
Reminiscence Therapy with the Indo caregiver or Filipino caregiver
Step 1. Conversation poppers.
There is no better way to start the therapy than to ask the elderly about his life and past experiences. The Indonesian caregiver or Filipino caregiver can choose positive topics like his first car, wedding day, first job, and favorite band.
It would be helpful if the live-in caregiver can do a little background check about the elderly’s life. This way, the Indo caregiver and Filipino caregiver can only tap the patient’s happy memories and not the sad ones. She could make a research about the 1950’s fashion trends and take advantage of it to start a conversation!
Reminder for the live-in caregiver:
The goal is to make the elderly share his experiences and resurface his memories. Avoid giving long responses as it makes him or her lose interest. The focus is the patient and you can only briefly share about your experiences when needed.
Step 2. Find some props.
Use props or items around the house that can prompt the conversation: family photo albums, CDs, a photo of an old model of a car the live-in caregiver may find on the internet, some objects, photos of his or her favorite artists, etc.
Extra tips for the Indo caregiver or Filipino caregiver:
Make your own ‘Prop Box’ and decorate it with the patient’s favorite fabric or favorite color. If the dementia patient has an old bag she doesn’t use anymore, you can also use it to contain all the props. When the caregiver finds the perfect opportunity to start a conversation with the patient, she can just pull the bag out and choose a prop.
Step 3. Utilize the 5 senses.
One of the beautiful aspects of the Reminiscence therapy is that it asks questions that trigger one’s 5 senses—sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound. Thus, the questions must also encourage the memories using the 5 senses:
1. In your wedding, what was the weather like? How about the cake? What flavour was it? 2. What’s your favourite song from your favourite band? How was their concert like? Can you sing a song for me? 3. What’s your first job? Did you enjoy it? How was your boss like?
And so on…
Storytelling makes the elderly patient more connected to the Indonesian caregiver or Filipino caregiver. The patient may also feel the concern and connection the caregiver wants to establish in this activity.
Extra tip for the live-in caregiver in Singapore:
Ask for help from the patient’s loved ones. Borrow her favourite CD and play it one afternoon. Get her favourite flower or her favourite scent and place it in her room. Offer his or her favourite food or tea, the one the patient usually eats or drinks in his or her youth. The possibilities are endless! All it takes is a little effort and cooperation.
Step 4. Use it as an advantage.
Now that the therapy made the patient recall, laugh, and talk, it’s time to take advantage of the happy hormones! Try to persuade her to do tasks he or she normally refuse like bathing, toileting, or going out.
The therapy works because it boosts the elderly’s mood. Refusal to the caregiver’s requests seldom happens in his or her grateful state!
The therapy didn’t work on the first try? The Indo caregiver or Filipino caregiver can give a go again tomorrow! All it takes is patience.
We hope it helps!
The family’s health and safety should be the top priority. Eden Grace Caregivers Agency offers caregiving services which will help us secure our loved one’s safety when we’re not around. The choice to hire a caregiver who can take care of the tiring household chores and things we cannot handle on our own will definitely be a plus point!
Please contact us for a fuss-free consultation with our unique personal screenings of our maids. Eden Grace Caregivers Agency looks forward to serving you!