Communication is very tough. If your loved one has vascular dementia, caused by a stroke, the ability to speak and make sense is lost. Sure, you could be all depressed about this. Or, look a little deeper. My mother laughs, all the time. She’s not always amused. Often, it’s a sarcastic laugh, indicating she knows very well the predicament she’s in. Other times, she’s easily amused and her eyes show it. Mom will often communicate a good mood by singing. Sometimes, it’s just “la, la, la, la, la, la” but there is most definitely a song in her head. Apathy is communicated by staring out into space with a blank look. The person with dementia needs to express anger too. Stomping off, tossing things, saying bad words, and slapping is how my mom shows anger. It’s so important to brush this off. We can’t blame our loved ones for being angry. Sometimes we all have to vent.
Making a choice is something my mother is unable to do 90% of the time. So, I make the choice for her and she communicates her appreciation with lots of thank yous when I do that. Rather than getting frustrated because mom can’t answer a simple question and make a choice, I get beyond that point by not giving any options in the first place. It works because I know her so well. (If you do not know the person you are taking care of personally, it’s important to speak with family members in order learn about your patient’s life before the illness.)
So you see, communication IS something your loved one CAN do and don’t you think otherwise for a second.