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Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: Effective Communication Strategies for Caregivers


Brattleboro, Vermont. On Thursday, April 27th, 2017 from 2-4 pm in Bellows Falls and 5:30-7:30 pm in Brattleboro. Brattleboro Area Hospice & the VT Alzheimer’s Association will host 2 presentations on Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: Effective Communication Strategies for Caregivers. The daytime presentation will take place at the Immanuel Retreat Ctr and Stone Church Arts (Currier House) at 12 Church St. in Bellows Falls. The evening presentation will take place at the Gathering Place at 30 Terrace St. in Brattleboro. The presentations are free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Communication is more than just talking and listening—it’s about sending and receiving messages through attitude, tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. As people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias progress in their disease process and the ability of words is lost, families and caregivers need new ways to connect. Join us for this free program as we explore how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s, learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

Brattleboro Area Hospice (BAH) is an independent, non-profit organization that provides non-medical support to dying and grieving community members and volunteer-staffed assistance with Advance Care Planning. BAH is 100% locally funded, provides services free of charge, and is located at 191 Canal Street in Brattleboro. 802-257-0775 or local to Bellows Falls 802-460- 1162. Visit www.brattleborohospice.org

For more information or to RSVP please contact Patty Dunn, Hospice Program Coordinator at (802) 257-0775 ext.102 or email patty.dunn@brattleborohospice.org

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Hospice is great

And this looks like another great program.

In my very limited experience, there comes a point when communicating with the afflicted person is much like communicating with an infant, pet, or someone speaking another language. That is, an awful lot of information is still being communicated, but it isn't necessarily verbal.

I don't know if it is true or not, I tend to act as though everything I say can still be understood on some level. (On the off chance the person understands everything but lost the ability to respond.)

It's useful sometimes to say "show me" and let them lead you.

Music and rhythm seem to stick around longer than language.

It's hard but useful to keeping giving the other person respect, even when things are rough or embarrassing.

Repetition and routine can help for a while.

It felt very much like the person was regressing = acting like a 7 year old, then 4 year old, then 2 year old... not an easy thing to watch, especially when memories of an active, involved adult are easily recalled.

It's good to get help. I don't know if enough good things can be said about Hospice and those who do the work. Call them right away and learn what they offer. They've been through it all before, have a good bedside manner, and can help you in a variety of ways.

 
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Slick Slope

An interesting facet of watching my mother's rapid decline is the question of what parts of her consciousness were already slipping in lesser forms over the years. In other words, expressions of her dementia are not inconsistent with her personality.

This also comes to mind seeing Trump ramble and spout random sequiturs, and non-sequiturs. Dislocations like Pavarotti, Fredrick Douglass, calling Paul Ryan Ron over and over...there's a bunch. And it's been strongly suggested the nepotistic guard in place is to keep a closer watch.

We know now Reagan was symptomatic while in office, but didn't hear of it at the time. Curious as to how this will unfold. And it begs the question, are we in some way, as beneficiaries, the president's caregivers too?

 
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Of sound mind and body

The majority of American’s with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. Perhaps we should change the constitutional age requirements to reflect the realities and legalities of “sound mind and body.” I think an age range of 27 to 59 would constitute a better legal age range for elective office.

(Of course, I have always had an innate aversion to old white men as president.)

 

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