When your loved one is suffering from dementia, one way that you can get them to live a better life and have more connections with the rest of the family is through positive communication. Like all human beings, having positive communication helps to instill a positive mood and also ensures that we feel understood and loved. This in turn helps with dementia support. But what is positive communication and how do we achieve it? Here are some ways you can do this.
Dementia is a slow degradation of memory and othermind-functions that people experience as they grow older. Scientists are not sure what exactly causes dementia as some people never suffer from it. However, for those who struggle with dementia, it can be a debilitating medical condition as it affects the quality of life that people live. There are many different ways in which dementia can be managed. There are memory care programs that help to slow the progress of the condition and using tools such as positive communication can also help to alleviate the problem.
Understanding Positive Communication
Positive communication refers to the style of communication where the goal is to give positive affirmations in the course of communicating with someone else. Rather than accuse or blame someone (negative communication), the focus here is to find areas of mutual agreement and start there in order to build a harmonious dialogue. Positive communication does not just happen but needs to be a deliberate effort and a pre-planned process. Here are some of the elements of positive communication.
Many people mistake empathy for pity. It isn’t. Pity is generally a negative feeling that seeks to make the object of the emotion helpless and at the mercy of circumstances. Empathy is on the other hand a deliberate effort to understand the other person’s view point and to try to bridge the gap between that and where you are.
Positive communication is not ambiguous. Rather it is very clear both in the message and how it is communicated. With positive communication, you let the other person know that you respect them enough to be cl;ear about what you are saying to them. People appreciate this and will often respond in kind, allowing for easy problem solving.
Most people listen to another person with the sole goal of formulating a response. The problem with doing this is that communication breaks down as the mind only selects the bits and pieces that it needs to formulate an answer and ignores the rest. With active listening, you listen to understand not just what is being said but also where the speaker is coming from.
Benefits of Positive Communication
When you practice positive communication with your loved one, it helps to reduce conflict which can easily happen with people suffering from dementia. This is because they may not always remember what they said or what happened earlier and this can cause confusion and irritation. With empathy, you get to understand where they are coming from and so are able to manage the communication process easily. Positive communication also helps to promote physical wellbeing, self confidence and helps your loved one avoid stress.