Library Home eChapter Making Sense of What They Say

Making Sense of What They Say

  • Explains the importance of being a good listener and lists ways on how to become a better one
  • Provides a guide on how to recognise what the person with Alzheimer's is talking about
  • Examples of conversations with someone who has dementia and gives examples of the strategies the author used herself
  • Gives guidance on how to make sense of words which seem meaningless and provides encouragement on the importance to keep listening

This chapter stresses the importance of being a good listener, provides suggestions on how to identify what the other person is actually talking about and gives examples of conversations. It also covers strategies for making sense of the words that people with Alzheimer's use and gives other examples to demonstrate that the words of someone with Alzheimer's are rarely meaningless.

Contents include

  • The value of listening
    • Show them that they are worth listening by being a good listener
    • Identify and respond to the feeling behind their words
  • Recognising what they are talking about
    • The immediate context may provide a clue
    • Their past history may provide clues too
    • Finding and respecting the relevant frame of reference
  • Examples
    • Responding to the woman who was crying for her mother
    • Finding a common topic of conversation
    • Encouraging my mother's singing story
  • Making sense of their words
    • The links between 'wrong' and right words
    • Assume that there is a link and look for links of likeness
    • The link of likeness may express an attitude or emotion
    • A note about responding to their use of the wrong word
    • Thinking in broader categories
    • Combining several items into one
    • Links between words that occur together
    • Recognising words from the past
  • Keep listening - words are rarely meaningless
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter

Click to Refresh
Add new comment

Author / Editor Biographies

Dr Jane Crisp lectures in communication, media studies and women's studies. Her experiences with her own mother, who is now in an advanced stage of dementia, first suggested to her the possibility of drawing on her professional background to help people who are dementing and those who care for them. For the last five years Jane has been working on the language of people who are dementing and on strategies for making sense of this language. She has given talks on this work and had articles published both in Australia and overseas. During 1994 she spent six months in France, meeting and exchangi...

Other eChapters from the eBook

Related Resources