Monday, July 13, 2020

Using Improv Skills To Improve Communication

Once Lizzie was in the Nursing Home (NH), we found that her friends dropped away rather quickly.

Many people found it challenging to spend time with Lizzie. She was still outgoing, friendly, articulate, and happy. So what was the problem?

The problem was that Lizzie didn't react as they expected her to react. She got facts wrong. She told stories that didn't reflect reality as the listener remembered it. She didn't remember some of their time spent together. She would sometimes tell stories that didn't make sense. She was sometimes determined to make the friend do something the friend had no desire to do (take Lizzie out to a restaurant).

Lizzie's friends had no idea how to react to these changes and all of that combined made visiting troublesome.

I wish I'd had this video to show them!

This video is a TEDMED. It showcases some positive ways to interact with someone living with dementia.

The people in the video have realized that the guidelines of improv acting are very similar to the guidelines for interacting with someone with dementia. They show a couple of scenarios to help viewers get the idea. They give concrete examples of "go with the flow" and "live in their reality."

I loved the "yes, and" tip. People living with dementia hear No a lot. Using "yes, and" is powerful!


How about you? Have you seen this video? Any tips to help friends be more comfortable visiting people living with dementia?

Photo by Avel Chuklanovon Unsplash

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