Dementia Couch Conversations: Video Calls with People with Dementia may not be a great idea!
March 16, 2020Uncategorized
communities are really making some strides to keep people who are living in their community is connected to their
friends and family outside of the community while we are all exercising special precautions but I
want you to keep something in mind and remind you guys all of this so that we can serve the people of dementia as best as possible moving forward. A lot of people are utilizing video calls to keep people with dementia connected to their families this is great and I definitely recommend it however, something I want you guys to keep in mind most people with dementia tend to be older adults.
Video calling is unfamiliar.
We know that being older definitely increases your risk and that it mostly impacts older adults older adults probably did not grow up with internet or video conferencing or cell phones and that kind of thing so this is a new phenomenon to a lot of them. Well, some of your residents are gonna be totally fine. They’re gonna think it’s cool! It’s not going to phase them at all.
There’s going to be other residents that do not understand what video chat is and it can be more difficult to explain it to them or for them to understand it due to cognitive changes that don’t really allow them to understand and grasp the concept. So, I still think the video chat is a great way to keep people connected but I do have a couple of tips for you guys while you are implementing them.
Look for cues of distress
The first is that I would have a staff member there so that they can monitor the nonverbal cues keep in mind that they may show distress or confusion on their face and that might be a red flag for you to say “you know what maybe this video chat needs to be redirected It’s not a good option.”
So, that means that you’re going to have to be ready, in that moment, to employ all the tools that you have learned about providing dementia care and communicating with somebody with dementia. That includes: redirection validating joining their reality (only after you’ve asked plenty of questions to understand what they’re thinking and where the reality is), you may be reminiscing with them or just using other tools that you have in your toolkit to bring down those emotions of distress due to the video chat.
Educate virtual visitors
Once their distress is reduced, it would be a great time to reintroduce that connection by just doing a traditional phone call and finally make sure that your virtual visitors are knowledgeable up-to-date equipped with all the tools that they need to have a productive phone conversation. When someone with dementia doesn’t have the ability to see who they’re talking to as the cue of who they’re speaking with it can be very confusing to be on the phone. So, make sure that your virtual visitors have that knowledge.
We can help!
companies and other professionals help their clients and their residents so that they can stay connected and be empowered with the right tools. If this is something that you would like to collaborate on we can talk about it you
Thank you so much!