St. Irenaeus Health Ministry is offering a free workshop on Connecting and Communicating with a Person with Memory Loss, “A New Way of Talking” on Monday, January 28th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. Irenaeus Parish Hall, 5201 Evergreen Ave., Cypress, CA 90630. Kari Walker, Director of Education at Alzheimer’s Orange County, will present tools and tips to help you have more caring, easier interactions with people in your life who have memory impairment. She will also connect you with community partners that offer additional resources.
Communicating and connecting with a person who has memory loss can be frustrating. It can be very difficult for the husband who can no longer speak with his wife who has dementia in the way he has in the past. How can he connect with his wife without words? His loved one is still there, but connecting with that person has to be done differently because of their disease. Instead of trying to have a verbal exchange, the exchange of emotions or feelings works better, connecting “heart to heart” rather than “intellect to intellect.” It is important to realize that, “You can’t control memory loss, only your reaction to it.” It isn’t easy to respond to the same question over and over again. Compassionate communication can greatly improve quality of life. Celebrating the moment instead of talking about the past also works. We have to change how we communicate because they cannot.
The goal of this workshop is to enable people to be more comfortable when interacting with people who have memory impairment by giving practical suggestions. If we are patient and flexible, there will be less problem behaviors in those who have memory impairment.
To RSVP, please call Betty Borowski at 714-826-0760, Ext. 146.
This article was released by the St. Irenaeus Health Ministry.