September 2017 – Please read following link for interview between the Bio Medical Research Centre London UCLH and Jonathan Schott
September 2016: Extract article: St Saviours Parish Magazine
Benefits of communication for people with dementia
We are all aware of how dementia changes people’s lives and those around them. I won’t talk about worrying statistics but what I can recommend is seeking as much help and advice as possible. Sadly for those loved ones who might be the main carer they may just stumble upon a few leaflets in the doctor’s surgery but do not find time to explore just what is actually available. I thoroughly recommend carers, friends and family to contact The Alzheimer’s Society – leading the fight against dementia. Please check out their website as they have an amazing library of extremely useful literature which is readily accessible and free. www.alzheimers.org.uk.
How we communicate with somebody with dementia is crucial, learning simple techniques, listening carefully, being patient when they struggle with words, avoid interrupting or finishing what they are trying to say. Keep eye contact and try to be sitting at their level. Always aim to include them in conversations.
As with anybody people suffering with dementia like to do things they enjoy –this may sound obvious but it’s true. Additionally, keeping their mind stimulated whether this is reading to them or anything of a creative nature can help them to feel involved and connected. I am currently helping one client to write some of their memories for their children an activity I have run in the past in writers group. Dementia sufferers find it easier to discuss and recall the past and shared memories can be enjoyed by their children and grandchildren.
I often write about transient reminiscent bumps which act as triggers bringing memories flooding back. These bumps can often be inspired by our senses i.e. visually looking at photographs, smelling perfumes, listening to music or even tasting a sweet from our childhood. These are all easy sensory stimulating activities that we can use to try to help encourage engagement with somebody with dementia. It can enhance feeling relaxed, remember happy times and improve their feelings of security.
The Alzheimer’s Society’s literature confirms that: ‘Shared activities can provide mutual enjoyment and companionship, which can support the relationship between the person with dementia and their carer’
The Alzheimer’s Society’s National Helpline is: 0300 222 1122
Annie Manning MASC (CBT)/NLP Life Skills Coach©