PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Communication By Facial Expression

When I visit Gregory during meal time, which I often do, Manny and I take turns helping him with his meal.

When Gregory is with Manny, I help the other people at the table with their cloth napkins (do not call them bibs,) open and pour their thickened juice drinks, get a glass of ice water for Gregory and Martha (they seem to prefer it to the juice) and sometimes I help with feeding those who cannot do it themselves.

Directly across from Gregory is Alvira (close but not really her name to protect the innocent.) She is blind from what I can tell and when she does feed herself it is usually with her hands. Most often she waits patiently until one of the CNAs can help her, but on very busy days, I chip in.

She opens her mouth very little and therefore it is hard to get any food in. It is kind of like a balancing act but if one pays careful attention, one can get the spoon to her mouth at the right time and unload most of the food. She is on a "Puree Diet" so the food is creamy, moosey, custardy and it goes down easily.

When she is ready for the next bite, she will put her gnarled hand on your arm and stroke it. When helped patiently, she eats quite a full meal.

Yesterday I was helping her eat and I noticed that Gregory was watching us. He had such an engaged, empathetic, grateful look on his face watching me help Alvira. He needed no words to communicate to me that he was happy I was helping her and in some ways wished he could. His empathy for those around him is great and it is beautiful to see.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Michael just want to say this post is overflowing with compassion and is very touching. Thinking of you both. Maarten


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