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Recommended thread Compassionate Communication with the Memory Impaired

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Grannie G, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Jo1958

    Jo1958 Registered User

    Mar 31, 2010
    Sylvia, thank you
    We all need reminding of these wise words, I try to follow the ideas and since I read them a couple of years ago life has got easier as I've relaxed into caring. So difficult to do at the beginning and very hard to keep up every day nevertheless well worth striving for.
    With kind regards from Jo
  2. happisoo

    happisoo Registered User

    Dec 10, 2009
    north wales
    WOW! I just want to say a miliion thanks for the posting from Grannie about the Compassionate Communication. I have been involved in many ways over the years in therapies, non-violent communication and have tried very hard to be a caring, patient tolerant and forgiving. Nevertheless (i'm learning) living with my mum while she has dementia is some tough challenge.!!! I seem to have lost my patience completely...I do reason, I do explain why her husband is no longer here. I find it so hard to be humourous, distracting creative and fun after two years. My mum shadows me whenever i'm in the house and I am unable to to be friendly all the time.
    Any way those words brought tears to my eyes and made me take a deep breth and find some eway of thinking about looking after her in a different way. I hope I can live up to the challenge.
  3. elaine n

    elaine n Registered User

    Jun 1, 2010
    west country uk
    Thanks for that Sylvia, I'll print it later and keep it safe xxe
  4. Issy

    Issy Registered User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Sylvia Simply thankyou
    I will share this most helpful advice with all family friends and professionals who may not have seen it.
  5. Christin

    Christin Registered User

    Jun 29, 2009
    Thanks Sylvia for reposting this. We saw it the last time it was posted and it was really useful. It helped us understand so much about walking away and not confronting behaviour. I feel sure it will help so many others.

    We should have reread it at 3 am :)
  6. novation

    novation Registered User

    Nov 8, 2010
    Thank you!

    Thanks Sylvia That is absolutely brilliant!! A real help.

    From Ronnie:)
  7. JPG1

    JPG1 Account Closed

    Jul 16, 2008
    It can only be pure coincidence that Grannie G has chosen to start this thread today.

    So much of the content of the Compassionate Communication with the Memory Impaired pages are contained within the SPECAL book that has received so much negative comment.

    If only you could have opened your minds to the SPECAL book, it would have been of enormous benefit to all of those who have suddenly welcomed the very same messages. The suggestions and advice contained within SPECAL.

    I am dumbfounded. I am absolutely gobsmacked. :confused::eek::mad:

    Who is pulling the strings here, and why?

    The book is cheap, it is easily readable, it is portable, it is available from your local library. (No, I have no connection with it, other than as someone who has read it, which is more than can be said, it seems, for some people who have posted so negatively about it - without even having bothered to read it.)

    But, suddenly the same 'message and advice' is deemed 'acceptable. Why? Please explain to a very :confused: person.

    The American stuff via Liz Ayres (a volunteer with the US Alzheimer's Association) is absolutely exactly the same as the UK stuff contained within SPECAL.

    If you open your mind, you open your heart. Regardless of the origin of the message.
  8. Bookworm

    Bookworm Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Co. Derry
    I'll have a look

    Could you link me to the SPECAL thread(s) please JPG? Thanks.
  9. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
  10. JPG1

    JPG1 Account Closed

    Jul 16, 2008
  11. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    I read Sylvia's post, copied 'Compassinate Communication etc.' to a 'document' and have put it on my desktop so that I can instantly refer to it anytime.
    I read 'Contented Dementia' but it didn't leave me with the same 'feeling' as C.C. etc. It could be that having to take the 'basics' from the book isn't as easy for some (eg.me) as it is for others.
    I have not felt any desire to re-read 'Contented Dementia.'

    Maybe it's about how we take information in.

    There's something about that genre of book that I have never been comfortable with, but that's a personal thing.

    They're out there, for folk to decide for themselves I suppose.
  12. parrypamela

    parrypamela Registered User

    Jul 23, 2009
    Thank you

    Thank you so much for printing this. It has made so much sense of alot of things and means so much. I just hope and pray I have the patience to do all the 'do's' as I truly know they are the right ones.

    Its so upsetting to see my mum like this and I just wish it was something you could treat/cure with medicine. I want my mum back:(
  13. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    I got half way through Contented Dementia and couldn't face any more.
  14. Contrary Mary

    Contrary Mary Registered User

    Jun 11, 2010
    Greater London
    Perhaps this is why "Contented Dementia" left me cold as I could not find anything to help me as a carer. I hope the occasional re-read of Compassionate Communication" will help me be more patient and understanding
  15. #36 PamD, Jan 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
    Me too - I couldn't imagine the complicated structures of special themed conversations having any relevance in my situation, where Mother doesn't live in a closed community but meets friends and neighbours in the street etc, who couldn't possibly all be "on board".

    The straightforward guidelines of "Compassionate Communication" seem a much more realistic approach: for us core carers, and to share with anyone with whom our dementia sufferer has frequent interactions. In encounters with other people we can give a lead in conversation, following the guidelines, and hope that other people will pick up and follow our example. But unless someone is in a care home staffed by SPECAL experts, where every visitor is also SPECAL trained (or they never have any visitors), then I couldn't see the prescriptive SPECAL approach as workable. Let alone AS's concerns about freedom of decisions etc.

  16. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I am going to print it out and take it to Dhiren`s Home.

    I doubt they need any lessons in compassionate communication but it`s good to have a piece of writing to refer to.
  17. Helen33

    Helen33 Registered User

    Jul 20, 2008
    That's a good idea Sylvia:) I think caring is so demanding often physically as well as psychologically and just a short reminder from time to time can only be good.

    I think we often get so engrossed in the unpredictability and seriousness of these conditions that it can help to see something CLEARLY. There is not much that is CLEAR about dementia.

    It could also help to have a copy in our handbags at all times and then when a friend, family member, sitter, nurse, SW, GP or other treats our 'cared for' inappropriately then we could hand them a copy which may help them too.

  18. maryw

    maryw Registered User

    Nov 16, 2008
    That is an interesting point of view, we are all different.

    Personally, I had not found TP at the time of my Mum's cognitive decline but had found Contented Dementia and it DID give me a way of dealing with it. Suddenly I understood it was the illness and not Mum, that I needed to have lots of patience, that I needed to almost pre-empt answers to questions so she would not feel stupid, I needed to focus on the past more, needed to build her self-esteem, needed to give her security by being calm and giving her day security of structure, security of using same words and sentences over again etc. etc. In this way I felt positive, that I was dealing with it in the best way that I knew how to at that time.

    Of course books don't cover everything, and I did read the books written for carers as well, so I picked up tips on how to handle the situation from there.

    Yes, I agree with Grannie G and I do think "Compassionate Communication" is brilliant, but I, and my Mum's carers, and, of course, my Mum, did get help from "Contented Dementia".
  19. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    I don't mean this to be frivolous but damn, I have a whole lot of reading up to do now, this thread is really interesting and I have to get hold of all these specal and contented dementia publications.

    We (dad and I looking after mum) sort of found our own way to compassionate communication, and once we did life became easier for us all because mum was a lot less agitated most of the time.

    I am not sure that we would ever have been prepared to follow anything without first trying what we thought was right at the time. However, I would have found the cc document to have been very useful if it had been one of the AS fact sheets, I used and printed off many of these and in particular one on managing challening behaviour, or aggressive behaviour, I forget which.

    Thanks for posting cc, Sylvia


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