Monday, August 29, 2011

Simplifying Conversation

  • One idea at a time. One subject and one verb in a simple sentence. No compound sentences.
  • Use the word, not a pronoun.
  • Keep very calm.
  • Don't mention the recent past because hubby can't relate.
  • DH will write things down, a way of dealing with his memory issues, but needs my help to spell.
  • LMT (lost my thought--see cartoon above). Do not interupt him because he will lose his thoughts.
These seem to be the cardinal rules of dialogue now with communicating with my Alzheimer's husband. I have read some of these suggestions elsewhere, but just decided to write them all down.

I can do this caregiving bit with the Lord's help. The Lord is my shepherd, my caregiver!

Why am I discourged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again--
my Savior and my God!
. . .
But each day the LORD pours
his unfailing love upon me,
and through each nght I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.

 from Psalm 42


  1. Great points...and in my hubby's situation, I would add, leave some extra time for him to process what I said before moving on. I join you in praising God for His unfailing love.

  2. Hoping you all are having a good week.

    Simplifying conversation and life in general is so true as we learn to live with Alzheimer's types of diseases.....
    We have to learn to go with the flow.....their flow, and not ours.
    Thinking and praying for you daily,

  3. keeping it simple is the best way, as I learned in my husband's journey. Your brain has to redirect itself in order to deal with what it is their brain is not dealing with. Well, that was a jumbled up sentence... Oh well, maybe you get my point.

  4. Hi Carol, Love the comic! But seriously, Steve and I ha VERY simplified conversation. I end up mentioning matters and making conversation in the regular way, and he does listen, but only pickes up on the last phrase. He can still answer smoothly at times. Otherwise he just listens.
    When I need him to take care of something, I say it in a direct, short sentence, and even though he tries to pay attention, I end up repeating it 3-4 times. With my leg still bugging me, I can't just charge outside and take care of things, so I have to be persistent!(and like we learned in our Alz. caregiver's class, give him 30 seconds to process the sentence).
    One thing worries me, though and that he'll come into the room I'm in with an excited tone and worried or frightened or excited look, and attempt to announce something, but only stutters or talks gibberish. I wait patiently, but now as his speech is further deteriorating, I can't make out what he's trying to say any more. So I pray these happenings he wants to describe are not serious.
    Blessings to you, Carol!I need to catch your helpful blog more often.

  5. Dana, Steve is in a new stage of Alzheimer's apparently. He needs you to be by his side even if you two are saying nothing to each other but "I love you," and then maybe he tries to say that back. Does he read at all now?

    Is it time to slow down some of your projects and busyness I read about on your blog? Just wondering. Busyness can be an idol. Slowing down now will help you physically also. God will give you strength to be Steve's caregiver, but maybe gardening and all you do each day are not part of the divine Caregiver's plan right now. I realize I don't know your situation, so please forgive me.

    Hugs and prayers,
    Who is trying to simplify also to be the best wife I can be

  6. My friend Jane put this on Facebook: MIDDLE AGE TEXTING CODES:
    ATD - at the doctor. BFF - best friend fell. BTW -bring the wheelchair . BYOT - bring your own teeth. FWIW - forgot where I was. GGPBL - gotta go, pacemaker battery low. GHA - got heartburn again. IMHO - is my hearing aid on? LMDO -laughing my dentures out. IPM- I pooped myself. OMMR - on my massage recliner. ROFLACGU - rolling on floor laughing and can't get up.