Older people who have cognitive issues often respond very positively to sensory and visual stimulation. Consider these tips as you visit or spend time with people who might be hard to have a conversation with.
Using technology, visually going back in time is easy even if you don’t have a photo album handy. You can look up a childhood home or town on Google Street View and reminisce. I recently did this with a client and we looked at her childhood home outside of London. The row houses are still there. Then I asked where she went to school and she said the name of her elementary school, which I found too. Lots of things to talk about flowed easily from this visual conversation.
Now that the cost of entry has come way down, virtual reality (VR) goggles are being used with older people as well. At Maplewood Stony Hill in Connecticut they are being used with residents who have memory impairments and it has opened a whole new world…literally.
by Joan Garbow, MSW, LCSW, CCM
Advanced Member of The Aging Life Care Association