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Dementia: Improving Communication with Improv | "Yes and..." Technique is part of a six-part series. Dementia is a degenerative neurological condition that affects millions of people worldwide. As the disease progresses, individuals with dementia may experience difficulties with communication, including problems with memory, language, and understanding. This can make it challenging for caregivers and family members to connect with their loved ones and provide the best possible care. However, there is a promising solution to this challenge: improv. In this six-part series, we will explore how improvisational theater techniques can be used to improve communication and connection with individuals with dementia. By tapping into the power of improv, caregivers can learn how to communicate more effectively, build rapport, and create meaningful experiences with their loved ones.
Dementia is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is a progressive disease that affects memory, thinking, behavior, and the ability to perform daily tasks. As the disease progresses, individuals with dementia may have trouble communicating and may become withdrawn and isolated. However, with the right approach and support, individuals with dementia can still achieve good quality of life.
One approach to supporting individuals with dementia is to meet them where they are at. This means that care providers should strive to understand the individual's unique perspective, experiences, and needs. This approach can help to reduce frustration, confusion, and anxiety and promote a sense of well-being and connectedness.
To meet individuals with dementia where they are at, care providers can use a range of strategies. One of these strategies is the "Yes and..." technique. Learning the "Yes and..." technique can ultimately improve the quality of life for individuals with dementia and their caregivers.
"Yes and..." technique
The improv - yes and is a communication technique that can be particularly effective when communicating with someone with dementia. This technique involves accepting what the person is saying and building on it, rather than correcting or contradicting them. Here are a few ways in which improv - yes and can be useful when communicating with someone with dementia:
Validation: By using improv - yes and, you are validating the person's experience and showing that you are listening and accepting what they are saying. This can help to reduce frustration and increase a sense of connection and understanding.
Building on the conversation: Rather than trying to correct or redirect the conversation, using improv - yes and can help to build on what the person is saying and keep the conversation flowing. This can be particularly helpful when the person is struggling to find the right words or is experiencing memory loss.
Encouraging creativity and imagination: Improv - yes and can also encourage creativity and imagination. By accepting and building on what the person is saying, you are creating a safe and supportive environment where they can express themselves freely and without fear of judgement.
Reducing anxiety: Communication can be stressful and anxiety-provoking for individuals with dementia. Using improv - yes and can help to reduce anxiety by creating a positive and supportive atmosphere, where the person feels heard and understood.
Using improv - yes and can be a powerful tool when communicating with someone with dementia. By validating their experiences, building on the conversation, encouraging creativity and imagination, and reducing anxiety, you can help to create a positive and supportive communication environment that can benefit both the person with dementia and their care provider.
Teaching someone the improv - yes and communication technique:
Teaching someone the improv - yes and communication technique can be a fun and engaging process. By explaining the concept, modeling the technique, practicing, providing feedback, and reinforcing the technique, you can help the person to improve their communication skills and create a more positive and supportive communication environment.
Example of using the "yes and" technique with someone with advanced dementia:
In this example, the caregiver uses the "yes and" technique to validate the person's feelings and experiences, even though they may be experiencing some confusion or disorientation due to their advanced dementia. By acknowledging the person's memories and encouraging them to share more, the caregiver can create a positive and engaging communication environment that helps the person with advanced dementia feel heard and understood. The caregiver also reinforces the person's memories by acknowledging the positive experiences they had with their dog Sadie, which can help to promote a sense of well-being and connection.
Using the "Yes and..." improv technique in caregiving can greatly enhance the caregiver's relationship with their loved one with dementia. By accepting and validating the individual's experience, caregivers can build trust, improve communication, and increase their loved one's sense of safety and comfort. Improv also allows for creative problem-solving and flexibility, which can be crucial in adapting to the individual's changing needs and abilities. Ultimately, incorporating improv as a form of communication can lead to a more positive, meaningful, and fulfilling relationship between the caregiver and their loved one with dementia.
Read all of the articles in this six-part series on Dementia: Improving Communication with Improv
Dementia: Improving Communication with Improv | Storytelling Technique
Dementia: Improving Communication with Improv | Role-playing Technique
Dementia: Improving Communication with Improv | Musical Improvisation technique
Author: Kathleen Warshawsky, BSN, RN | Publisher Seniors Blue Book Greater Dallas | https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleenwbsnrn/
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Did you know that Pennsylvania has the fifth largest older adult population in the nation with 3.4 million individuals?1 As the population continues to age, more people are weighing their options when it comes to downsizing, moving into a senior living community, or choosing to age in the comfort of their homes. According to a 2021 Home and Community Preferences survey by AARP of 2,826 U.S. adults, about 75% of people over the age of 50 expressed that they would like to remain in their current houses and communitiesmeaning aging in place is becoming a more prevalent life choice among older adults.2What to Know About Aging in PlaceIf youre leaning toward spending your years in the place where you feel the most content and safe, then you need to be willing to make some modifications to your home. As you age, your needs change, which means certain features in your home may need to be adjusted. Wider doorways and walkways; accessible bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms; ramps and lifts; non-slip floors; and stability aids like grab bars and handrails are some of the most common enhancements that come to mind, but assistive technology can play an important role in aging in place too.Many people choose to age in place because they want to maintain their independence, and assistive technology helps make that possible. From smart home devices that allow you to control the temperature or lights with voice commands to amplified phones and doorbells, there are plenty of high-tech tools that can help you navigate your day-to-day with ease. If youre a senior with hearing loss, Captioned Telephone Relay Service is a free service that allows you to read captions of whats said to you during phone conversations using a uniquely designed CapTel phone.CapTel Makes Phone Conversations Clearer Using CapTel, you can confidently and securely age in place knowing that you can effectively communicate over the phone. Whether youre calling loved ones to catch up, chatting with your doctor, or contacting first responders in an emergency, CapTel is a dependable communication solution for older adults who have hearing loss.Best of all, the CapTel captioning service is free and available in English and Spanish, with captions appearing on the bright, built-in display screen of the CapTel phone just moments after the other caller has spoken. CapTel phones can be purchased directly for $75 through a third-party vendor, or qualified Pennsylvania residents can apply for a CapTel device through the states Telecommunications Device Distribution Program (TDDP)which provides specialized equipment to individuals who find it difficult to use a standard phone. Age in Place Confidently with CapTelTo learn more about CapTel, including how to purchase or apply for an assistive communication device, visit pactrs.com today!Sources:1Master Plan for Older Adults, Pennsylvania Department of Aging 22021 Home and Community Preferences Survey: A National Survey of Adults Age 18-Plus | Joannne Binette & Fanni Farago, AARP Research CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.
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Moving to a personal care home is a big decision based on many factors. Cold winter months are drawing near, and the Farmers Almanac is forecasting a Winter Wonderland for the northeastern United States. Keeping this in mind, and to avoid winter chores, this is a great time to consider a respite stay and experience first-hand what life is like living in a personal care home.Experience an easier moveWinter weather conditions like snow and ice can complicate the move to a personal care home. Moving before bad weather conditions arrive allows seniors to avoid potential weather-related delays, accidents or other challenges during transportation and when moving belongings.Try out the personal care homeRespite care offers seniors a chance to try out a retirement community without making a long-term commitment. Country Meadows offers all-rental retirement living accommodations, so seniors are not beholden to a lengthy lease or an ownership stake. A respite stay can help older adults see for themselves whether or not the community is a good fit for a permanent move.Avoid winter weather challengesMany older adults struggle with winter chores such as shoveling snow, chipping away ice, walking on icy sidewalks, managing heating systems and driving in inclement weather. A temporary respite stay at a personal care home eliminates these responsibilities, as well as many other daily chores, removing worries. It provides seniors the opportunity to settle into their new living arrangement without the added stress of winter weather.Access daily assistance and health servicesAlong with cold weather, the winter season can also bring several challenges for older adults to maintain wellness. A major benefit to living at a personal care home is prompt, easy access to health resources and assistance. This is especially beneficial for seniors with health concerns and mobility issues. If a resident requires assistance with medications, dressing, bathing or another daily activity, simply push a call button and a personal care associate can provide needed help. And a wellness team keeps an eye on each residents overall health.Reduce lonelinessMany seniors experience loneliness and isolation while living at home. The winter months can magnify these feelings. Respite care offers opportunities for social interaction and engagement with new neighbors and friends in the same age group, reducing feelings of loneliness and providing mental stimulation.Participate in activities, enjoy entertainment and outingsSenior living communities often offer a variety of enriching activities and events. At Country Meadows, our Vibe program considers each residents physical, cognitive, social and spiritual needs and customizes activities, entertainment, outings and purposeful service opportunities. Events are organized seasonally by categories and offer opportunities for socialization and fun. When living at a personal care home, one doesnt need to brave the elements outside, because all the fun during winter is happening indoors, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.Provide relief for family caregiversA respite stay offers a break for family members and friends providing care in a seniors private home. This break is especially appreciated during winter months when private caregiving responsibilities might become more demanding due to inclement weather, illnesses or holiday-related activities.When considering respite care at a personal care home or retirement community over the winter months, its important to do some homework. Families and seniors should research and visit potential facilities to ensure the community can meet specific needs and preferences of each individual. The decision for respite care should prioritize the well-being, comfort and specific needs of each person, aiming to provide a supportive and enriching experience. Contact Country Meadows Retirement Communities today.
Dont Let a Stroke Ruin Your RetirementYour risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease increases as you age. But the good news is 80% of stroke and cardiovascular disease CAN be prevented.1 If you are age 50 or older, you should be screened.Often there arent any symptoms of a stroke before it occurs, in fact for 4 out of 5 people who have a stroke the first symptom of any illness is the actual stroke.2 But, you can take steps to find out if youre at risk.Life Line Screening is a premier provider of preventive screenings for stroke and cardiovascular disease risk. A simple appointment can identify your risk factors and provide peace of mind or early detection.Screenings are easy, painless, non-invasive and dont require any messy prep work.Life Line Screening has over 14,000 locations across the United States so you can find one close to you.Getting screened is affordable. The most popular package at Life Line Screening includes 5 screenings in 1 appointment for $149.Get the most out of your life! Find out your stroke and cardiovascular disease risk with Life Line Screening so you can be in control and do something about it.***CLICK HERE*** to schedule your appointment! A simple screening can be worth a lifetime.1 American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/get-involved/advocate/federal-priorities/cdc-prevention-programs2 Hackam DG, Karpral MK, et al. Most stroke patients do not get a warning, a Population Based Cohort Study. Sept. 2009. Neurology, 73, 1074-1075.