My blogs are very much straight from the horses mouth ….( strange expression come to think of it !)…
My gosh …. I use loads of strange expressions, sayings, malapropisms…. Don’t we all ?!
So how does this all work out when it comes to communication with people with a dementia I wonder ?
I think it is a fascinating part of our rich world of words!
To be continued …..but I am at the Edinburgh Fringe at the moment …. So off for more words !!! ….
Back live ! ( another expression !)
So – here’s my thoughts on non-literal language use – based on personal experience in communicating with people with various dementias …
Many articles will advise against using metaphor, idiom etc as it is confusing for the listener … But I am not so sure about this . Surely it is more about the WAY in which you communicate more than the specific words. Expressions that have been widely used over the decades certainly seem to trigger response ….. Elbow grease, glad rags, Sunday best, waste not want not, all dressed up and nowhere to go, icing on the cake, …. Daft as a brush ! I agree that newer expressions might not work too well …. Totally wicked !?!
But when I am using the expression I am also using body language, context and facial expression …. So that’s the main part of the communication – non verbal as its called ….
I have certainly listened to metaphor-rich stories or chattering from people with a dementia …. Infact there are many insights to be had from careful listening to meaning behind and beyond the literal …. After all – surely the oft expressed plea ‘I want to go home’ is using the notion of home as ‘safe secure and familiar’ …..
Word finding difficulty is a common problem in some types of dementia http://jlhede.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/what-is-frontotemporal-dementia/ – and of course every person remains an individual – and I am only sharing my own experiences …. It is just another way of looking at things perhaps to consider if the less precise and literal WE are in our words the less pressure the LISTENER might feel in attempting to find precise words ….?
I once had a poetry making session with some lovely ladies and gents in a hampshire care home … A total blast ( yet another daft expression !?!) ….
I took a coconut and wooden mixing spoon along as props to trigger of and inspire poetry ! Trust me – it worked ! The objects took on characteristics and relationships … And a story …. Now if that isn’t playing around with non-literal … ?! I will find that poem and post it on here …. Keep looking !