Posts Tagged With: communication

Rainbow switch

Somewhere over the rainbow is a truly magical song !

I mean this in more than just a ‘wow great song’ way …. I mean – TRULY MAGICAL !

There are many blogs which agree !
blogshttp://drtombibey.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/music-therapy-somewhere-over-the-rainbow/

Earlier this week I was doing a reminiscence show based on the theme of days out and seaside trips …. At one point I put on a plastic mack and rain hat and clutch old fashioned thermos … And refer to the often inclement weather on British seaside holidays …. But how magical it is when the sun breaks through … And there is a beautiful rainbow ….. Cue song …..!

On the very first bar of the song – I had probably only sung the famous 2 octave apart notes – a lady who had been silently hunched with closed eyes …. sat upright and opened her eyes which sparkled and smiled … And remained alert and clearly ‘joyful’ throughout the song ! Magic !

Another previously sleepy lady started tapping her foot in time and another mirroring my hand movements – embracing the music !

This is not a one off – of all the hundreds of songs I sing or play in hundreds of settings with people with various levels and types of dementia – this is amongst the most ‘triggering’ switch ones!

I have thought about why – and of course it is connected to the minor key, the octave leap ( maybe registered by hard of hearing ) , the words …. But of course a lot of these ladies and gents were adolescents when ‘Wizard of Oz’ was released – technicolor and all ! So their brains were at a highly sensitive stage of development … Memory thrown down and embedded with a big plonk !

There have been some wet eyes and cheeks too …. But a) I think tears are a sign of being alive and b) I follow it up with ‘luvely bunch of coconuts’!

20120816-114845.jpg

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Literally!

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 !

20120811-152243.jpg

20120811-152258.jpg

20120811-152309.jpg

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Metaphors and muddles

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 !

20120811-152243.jpg

20120811-152258.jpg

20120811-152309.jpg

Whose Shoes? A catalyst for change in health and social care

Today I have the honour and the pleasure of hosting a blogpost that gives real insights into the life of someone living with dementia. But surely, I hear you ask, this whole “in my shoes” series is aiming to do this? Well, it is building the big picture of dementia from many different perspectives – all adding huge value – but this is the first blogpost actually written by someone living with dementia – and I hope we will have more.
This is the most important perspective of all.

Norman (or Norrms as he is known) is a rather special person. While others are planning and researching dementia-friendly cities, Norrms and his pals in Torbay are getting on and doing it! Such a practical approach – just walking into public places such as shops and cinemas, talking to them and leaving some leaflets – and then following up to see if they understand…

View original post 878 more words

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Role Reversal Rules!

Carers deserve thoughtful training ideas like this – it is always a useful exercise to experience being in someone else’s shoes (www.whoseshoes.wordpress.com)
This training by www.fshc.co.uk looks interesting http://tinyurl.com/cjnsf3qhttps://trishalewis.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/20120705-090912

20120705-143317.jpg

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Instant mood change

Instant mood change!

This is inspiring and relevant to all those involved with caring for someone who has a dementia …. Read on !

I was doing my ‘majestic memories’ reminiscence show (www.trishalewis.com) in a care home this morning – a home I have regularly visited over the years …. And a show I have done ‘umpteen times over last few weeks in celebration of Diamond Jubilee ….. But something was wrong ….. A usually bright and engaged lady was sat expressionless and in stony silence….and I felt her mood …. But i had to carry on with upbeat show …. 2 songs in and some interesting triggers explored …. And still no change … No interaction …. My whole being was having to work hard to resist the drag of the powerful wave of this mood…. Was it anger …was it depression …. Was it sadness …. Disapproval ….? One thing i knew for certain was I wouldn’t humour her or force interaction ….. I carried on ….even a rendition of Gracie Fields ‘If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake ‘ didn’t reach this lady … Who normally loves singing ….. So …. Song number 4 … ‘on the street where you live ‘ …. Still no change ….. And then the switch … This is how it happened …

ME: I love that song …. It’s from that musical isn’t it … Um . What was it called ( i knew in reality ) …. Er …..
MY…..

LADY: ….Bonnie Líes over The ocean’

ME: Oh – I love that song – how does it go … (i start to sing softly ) …

LADY: ( taking over) (sings 2 verses with gusto) !

( this wasn’t part of my 1953 reminiscence show …. But who cares …. All I cared about was the unlocking of this lady’s mood …. !)

It didn’t stop there ….. From that moment on – till I was packing up and saying goodbyes …. And I suspect beyond …. Her mood was completely transformed ! She sang, she reminisced …. She was interested … Engaged …. Smiling …. Dancing ( seated dancing ) to ‘Boomps a daisy’ … Laughing … Interacting with other residents ( who in turn were caught up in her joyous mood )!

The lesson …… Don’t give up …. One positive aspect of dementias is that moods can alter in a second … Finding the trigger might be a bit hit and miss …. And shouldn’t be forced …. But it will come …. And the satisfaction is immense !

One word was all it took … A word with a pause after …. A space for the trigger to be taken and expressed …. MY …. ( ok so it was ‘my fair lady ‘) …. My ….. ( an individual’s word association) …. My ….. ‘ Bonnie lies over the ocean ‘! Fabulous !!!

And then …… Go with the flow !

20120616-231145.jpg

Categories: Dementia and triggers for communication | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.