Meet Mrs. Simpson who is angry that during the COVID-19 pandemic she cannot go out and feels like a prisoner who is trapped. Learn how to use simple Validation techniques to listen to her feelings and understand her needs. You can tap into her own history for resources and somtimes just being with her is enough.
Meet Mrs. Leader who is has become withdrawn as a result of being isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how short moments of contact with a caregiver can help her avoid experiencing complete withdrawal. Even if the visit is only for the length of time it takes to sing a song, that is meaningful.
Meet Mrs. White, an 82-year-old woman who is confused in time, place and person. Learn how to use simple Validation techniques to communicate effectively and empathetically with her as a caregiver while wearing a mask and using Zoom.
Physical distance, doesn’t mean emotional distance especially when working with disoriented older adults. As a caregiver, your eyes are a way to connect with care. Learn how to build trust quickly by building empathy. Meet 82-year-old Mrs. White, she is confused and doesn’t remember anything about the pandemic. She does remember that when she was a girl the world was at war. Knowing this background a caregiver can feel the emotion she is experiencing and use that empathy to effectively communicate.
Reduce anxiety, avoid isolation and remember – use centering.
More tips for helping you make contact with disoriented older adults: when using masks, gloves and other protective gear; kissing with touch and using music.
Remember to center yourself. Older adults living with cognitive decline are sensitive to the atmosphere around them. For the moments that you interact with someone, make sure you have put aside your own feelings and thoughts.
Part 2 builds off of our first 3 tips and discusses exploring rather than telling, empathy instead of diversion or lying, and approaching the other person with respect.
At this strange time, filled with great difficulties for many people, it’s important to remember centering, self-care and meaningful engagement.