People with Alzheimer’s continue to be people right up until their last breath and, like any other human being, retain intact the need to communicate. Even when we believe them to be immersed in their own world, or when they no longer have the facility with words like before.
But this does not mean they have dispensed with their essential need to express themselves, and even less so their ability to express those same emotions that we, the so-called sane, try so often to hide or mask. People with Alzheimer’s, just like you and me, feel anger, fear, sorrow, frustration and also joy, curiosity, hope, love; they retain intact that impulse that springs from the innermost part of ourselves to let the world know that they are still here, that they need to be seen, that although today they may not be very aware of where they are, they continue to be important and their lives continue to have meaning.
It is within our grasp to recognise this need and to provide them with the opportunity to live a more dignified life.
It is not easy to communicate with another human being when the words no longer flow. Neither is it easy to converse with another person when their conversation seems to lack logic or what we call common sense.
It is not easy to find alternative ways to get closer to them when, until now, we have always used reason and words as a common bond.
But however difficult it may seem, countless testimonials every day prove to us that all of this is possible.
In order to find a way we must simply be willing to look and to be open to connecting with that part of ourselves that goes beyond the circuits of logic; that part of us that understands not reason but emotions, with our very BEING. Only then will we know how to cross the bridge that will take us to meet that other human being that is our loved one with Alzheimer’s.