10.06.18 Communicating with others when you have dementia

Saturday, October 6, 2018 – Somehow most folks believe that someone with dementia shouldn’t be able to carry on a semi intelligent conversation. They do not realize that when someone is diagnosed with dementia it may take several years to get to where conversation is a problem.  In the mean time the patient loses that capability on a very slow manner.
When people who know I have dementia talk to me they are surprised that my conversation skills are still fairly good.  Some days my conversational skills are great so I talk a lot then.  Poor Roy! The times that they are the best is when I am talking to people I’ve known a long time. Long enough to have deeply rooted memories to talk about. I can also talk for a while with no problem about my medical conditions and other people’s medical conditions and medicines.  I don’t know why that is, but I can!
During short conversations I’m still pretty okay but during longer conversations I can feel my conversation skills fading away and I tend to say things just to be talking.  My ability to remember what’s been said earlier in a conversation is not good.  It’s those times that I say stupid things or even inappropriate things because I have no filter stopping me from saying those things.  It is more than frustrating and I feel like I can’t just all of a sudden be quiet so I keep blabbing. Poor Roy lives with me and constantly hears the weirdest things come out of my mouth and just lives with it.
My inability to come up with the correct name for something is much worse than it use to be sometimes, not all the time.  However I’ve learned to just say “the thing” or “the place” or “you know what I mean”.  That works well with Roy but with others I feel I need to work hard to talk right so my brain is working so hard while I talk to them that I’m exhausted afterwards.
At times when my conversational skills and brain capabilities are not so great and I mostly stay home or just stay quiet.
Peter Berry, the man with dementia in the UK who puts out a weekly video, explained so very well in this video some of the problems people with dementia have carrying on a conversation. He describes it so well that I have to share this.

Please don’t not stop talking to me because you’ve read this and know it can be a problem for me.  I am no where near it being a problem all the time.  I need to have conversations with dear friends and family and be in their presence when I can, as long as I am able to.  If I am out in public it is because that day I can so let’s visit.  I am now learning that when I hit the wall in my verbal communications to just say “I can’t talk.” I also do better at my own home so if I invite you over, please come!

As my verbal communication goes away I am so hopeful that my written communication here and my ability to read hangs on as long as possible.  I am speaking out as much as I can now so that what I want is known.  When I can’t read any longer please come over and read parts of the Bible to me.  We’ve purchased a audible Bible for me to listen to when I can no longer read.  Most of my books on my Kindle can be audible for just a couple of dollars.  Reading opens my world and I love that and hope I will get to do it for a long time.

I’ve just written a five part blog post about our experiences so far renting Dora to families/couples for their vacations, tailgating, etc. We haven’t shared with many people all that’s happened while she’s been rented and in between.  It’s time we do that so I hope to publish them one part a day next week.  Dora is in the shop right now having many parts of her big awning replaced and her paint buffed.  We hope to have her back from the shop on Tuesday and she leaves with a young couple on Friday for the weekend.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Dementia

 

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