Benefits of Positive Physical Approach

It's dementia, the emotional memories outlast the short-term memories. In working with some people in dementia units, I've really started to see how making an emotional connection with someone, and validating their emotions, helps to continue that interaction.

When I received occupational training, I learned about empathetic statements, but I didn't really have an "Aha" moment until I understood empathetic statements aren't about understanding someone's emotions, it's about opening and continuing a conversation or dialogue based on validating their emotions. It opens up a pathway to connecting with another person/other people. The first time I saw this happen, I felt that not only was it the biggest gift I have received from this field of work, but I began to understand how it would impact all other aspects of my life.

It's wonderful to me to go back to a dementia care facility and see people who I've made an emotional connection with who may not remember my name or who I am but are obviously glad to see me. I can see the emotional memory still functioning. It's a wonderful thing.

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Guardian Angel

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