May 25, 2012


"People long for the warmth of conversation." Georg Kuhlewind

On of the greatest losses for me within the caregiving relationship was the loss of conversation.  As Dwane lost his ability to have reciprocal conversations, our dinner times fell silent.  We would talk, of course, but it was not the give and take of conversation.  A characteristic of LBD (Lewy Bodies Dementia) and other dementias is the loss of conversation.  How do we, as caregivers, fill the human need for the warmth of conversation?  Now, when I see Dwane, he is more 'up' and we can have brief glimpses of conversation.  With the varied periods of lucidity characteristic of LBD, he seems able to hold in reserve lucidity for our time together.  I saw this when we were living in the same house.  He could rally himself for a phone call or for a social event, and that is a good thing.  If you are a 24/7 caregiver, it is my opinion that you will need to get your need for 'the warmth of conversation' somewhere else.  Actually, any one of us in relationship with someone with dementia will be served to get our conversational needs met somewhere else.  I add one more criteria for myself:  the conversations I have must be positive ones.  By that I mean no whining, no complaining, no criticizing, no bullying or baiting.   I choose positive, interactive conversations to fulfill my need for the warmth of conversation.  How do you meet your need for conversation?

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