Figuring out ways to communicate with a loved one that is no longer verbal can be difficult. Talking to them is the foundation of your relationship, so there must be other ways of communication.
The Steps to Take for Non-Verbal Communication
The two forms of communication are expressive and receptive. Expressive communication is using sentences and words to express yourself. Receptive communication is showing that you understand what is being displayed to you, even though it’s not possible to use words.
Expressive communication can be lost when a loved one has suffered from a stroke or late-stage dementia.
It’s still possible to enjoy time together and show love with non-verbal forms of communication, such as:
Using The Senses
The world is mainly experienced through 5 senses, so think about how your non-verbal loved one is experiencing it through feeling, tasting, seeing, feeling, and smelling.
Sharing a meal together is a great way to appeal to all the senses. Smelling the food being prepared can bring a sense of comfort. Even if your loved one only eats a bite or two they are still getting to experience the sensations of it. During mealtimes make a point to sit with them creating an enjoyable experience.
Choose a movie for your loved one to watch that they used to love. Even if they can only watch for ten minutes, it can still create a connection showing that you care.
Listen to Music
Music is powerful in bringing up our emotions. Play one of their favorite songs for them and see how they react. Also, playing an instrument or singing a lullaby they once sang to you can trigger something positive in them.
Read A Book
Reading a favorite book aloud to your loved one can bring them back to old times. It can even be a children’s book, looking the photos together. Reading to them in a comforting tone can bring them happiness just to be in your presence.
Look at Family Photos
Bring out an old family photo book and share memories you had with the family. Even watching family videos can stir certain emotions in them. Even if your loved one is unable to respond, these memories may allow them to remember your life together.
Even if your loved one is not responding giving them a hug or a kiss can still be cherished. Also, you can show love by using gentle touch.
Express your Love
Expressing words of love to them can be soothing, even if they can’t respond. Tell them what you appreciate about them and how you love them. Revealing kind words of how important they are to you and how thankful you are that they’re in your life.
Five Love Languages
There are different styles of giving love beyond that of words. These different style can be:
- Giving gifts
- Providing care
- Spending time together
- Touch and physical affection
- Showing kindness and love
It can be a difficult time when your loved one loses verbal communication. Using these ways to interact with them can show how much you care. Let go of expectations and look for the ways they try their best to communicate with you.
Entrust of DeSoto: A Resident-centric Memory Care Community in Dallas, Texas
Entrust of DeSoto is a memory care community that puts resident well-being at the center of everything we do. We know that each person is unique. That’s why we offer a wide range of services and lifestyle options to nourish the body and create community.
We understand the importance of home cooked meals and nutrition for seniors and this attitude is reflected in our dining experience. If you or a loved one live near Dallas, Texas and need assisted living, contact Entrust of DeSoto today to learn about our 24-hour care and find out how we can help.