Did you know that a large percentage of dementia care is relationship building? If your person living with dementia doesn't like or trust you, it makes caring for the person a lot more difficult. Would you willing accept care from someone you didn't like nor trust? Would you want them to be around during your most vulnerable moments? Probably not, right?
Here are 6 "easy" ways to build rapport:
- Check your mood before approaching your partner — body language is contagious.
- Connect before you request — your partner may be in the middle of doing something that feels important to them. Don't assume that what you need or want them to do is more important than what they are already doing or even planning to do. Take a moment to check on them see what they are doing, how they are feeling, if they had any plans.
- Don't argue or correct — no one likes people who constantly disagree with them or correct them all the time. Validate their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, even if what they are saying doesn't make much sense to you or match your reality. Their reality matters too!
- Spoil them with their favorites every now and again — favorite food, drink, music, activities, etc.
- Respect their privacy — knock before you enter, give them space, turn your head or step out of the room when necessary, keep their privates covered with a towel (for example: while sitting on the toilet or bathing — if necessary).
- Spend quality time with them — engage in meaningful conversation, reminisce, tell a story, do fun activities together (may require some adapting).