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Posted on 29/08/2017

Non-Verbal Communication 

Not everyone communicates verbally. 

At the rehab where my dad is, there is this young lady. Basically everyone knows what she wants when she rides in her electric wheelchair to the dining room. She points to what she would like from the menu. And everyone gets what she likes and makes her comfortable. A few weeks ago, she needed something and she gestured. One of the staff knew exactly what she was asking for and got it for her. When it happened again, she was able to get what she needed.

Her family buys her favorite coffee and she normally brings it with her when she comes for meals. I think she ran out last Sunday evening and things went down hill. She was banging her tissue box on the table, everyone was running around trying to calm her down asking her where her coffee was. Well things calmed down, she finished her meal and went to bed.

So the next morning, someone on staff who has been here a long time and is familiar with the young lady –came into the dining room and asked her what was wrong. I told her that last night no one could find her coffee and she was very upset. She went to her room and got the new canister of coffee. And of course there was smiles and hugs all around.

It makes a big difference when the staff is familiar with your love one and knows their habits and particulars. 

My only advice is to make sure if you are bringing something that your love one uses frequently, to make sure it is out and visible. And to let the someone know where to find the extra one.

Things don’t always go right everyday but the goal is to have things go right most of the time. 

In the long run, your love one is a lot happier.

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