Episode 41

July 03, 2023


#41 | Adria Thompson | Living in Their World

Hosted by

Tony Siebers Bina Colman
#41 | Adria Thompson | Living in Their World
Parent Projects - Aging In America
#41 | Adria Thompson | Living in Their World

Jul 03 2023 | 00:43:44


Show Notes



Today, we will be chatting with Adria Thompson, certified dementia practitioner, who creates practical and functional content for caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s. She believes if we can better understand the reality in which individuals with dementia are living, we will better meet their needs with compassion and understanding.




Looking for information? Parent Projects takes the stress and intimidation out of the process for families relocating an aged loved one using our educational and self-help downsizing guides found at www.ParentProjects.com. Through our “Verified” Business Network, advocates can access the pre-screened professional services they need on their terms with the financial and personal safety peace-of-mind their families deserve.


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00:00 – Intro

00:40 – Welcome to Today’s Show

01:59 – Introduction to Adria Thompson

03:54 – Adria’s Call to Action

06:22 – Differences of Care Across the Country

09:53 – ComforCare Ad

10:53 – Understanding Their World

16:08 – Strategies for Working with Dementia Patients

20:24 – Steps to get a Dementia Patient to do Something

22:29 – Consider that They are Right

28:52 – Skysong Tour

30:04 – Summarizing the Steps

40:03 – Parentionia

41:49 – Contact Adria Thompson

43:01 – Outro



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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Consider that they're right. Oh, like, that can be really hard. Is like every, I am a firm believer that everything someone with dementia does or feels, makes sense to them. Speaker 2 00:00:17 As our parents grow older, it can be difficult to guide them through their golden years, while still respecting their autonomy and fitting it into our already complex lives. Welcome to the Parent Projects Podcast, where our guests share practical wisdom to tackle the issues that impact adult children of aging parents. I'm Tony Sis. Thanks for joining us today. Speaker 3 00:00:43 Uh, we are often reminded when we're working with a loved one, uh, during, uh, dementia or Alzheimer's, which is a focus of our shows, this, this, uh, this month here, uh, that we are probably living in a different world and they're a part of, uh, a different space. And if this is something that, that you've really felt compelled to understand and to dig into and to really find a good solution to, you're gonna wanna stay tuned. Uh, today for this episode. Adria Thompson's gonna join us. She's a speech language pathologist, uh, specializes in dementia care. She's a social influencer that has focused her attention on the spotlight of bringing, uh, light, uh, to the caregiving of those with dementia. So, stay tuned as we have Adria Thompson today on the Pair Projects podcast, which starts right now. Speaker 3 00:01:33 You know, every now and again, you'll, I'll be sitting down and, uh, going through different scrolls and, and trying to come up with just some, some new way to help me make a better connection. And one of those people that have helped me do just that for, for sometimes what seemingly random things is Adria Thompson Adria, uh, comes to us with a, a background as a speech language pathologist. She specializes in dementia care, but has taken out to become, um, be like with her, her organization, be like care consulting to help family caretakers as well, get an understanding of what it's like inside this other world and how you can make meaningful connections here. So Adria, I am blessed to have you on the show. Thanks so much for joining us today and sharing your time, talents, and treasures with us. Speaker 0 00:02:24 Thank you so much for having me, Tony. I'm excited to talk to you. Speaker 3 00:02:28 Well, hey, you, uh, you, I, I really mean that. You know, uh, we were talking, you know, outside before, before we got into the show, and I was moved by one of your videos here most recently that was talking about, um, uses kind of, of empathy and different sim signals that you can give to a loved one who might be in dementia, who was just kind of, who was frozen up. And I'm trying to remember, remind me if you can remind me the term of when that happens to the family member. Um, Speaker 0 00:02:56 Yeah. I, I think, um, I'm not not sure exactly the, the term that I might've used in there, but there's a lot of issues that we can have with dementia, with initiation, getting things started, knowing the next step. Speaker 3 00:03:07 Yeah. And you just, you broke through in a great, in a great, easy to understand way and something to get something going. What? To look for something that was practical. So, um, it is, it is pretty incredible to, to see people, um, be able to do that and break complicated, difficult, uh, situations down into that. How did you, how did you get into this? How did, how did you end up committing your life and, uh, and to understanding and talking about these things, which nobody really seems to wanna talk about, Speaker 0 00:03:37 Right? No, they don't. Yeah. I, I became a speech language pathologist about eight years, nine years ago now, I guess. And I really wanted to work, I thought with children with disabilities, because I love the complexity of the challenge of individuals who maybe others had given up on or didn't have a lot of expectations for. And upon entering into the workforce, I started working at a nursing home and I realized that actually my passion was not necessarily children, it was just the challenge and advocating for people. And so I started really growing a heart for individuals with dementia. And after about three years of providing one-on-one speech therapy services to individuals in long-term care, my own grandmother was diagnosed with dementia or started showing signs. It took a little while for a diagnosis, but then I started seeing the process and the complication of care, uh, through my own family and, and trying to meet her needs in the way that she needed them to be met. And there were just not many resources out there. And so that made me double down on education that I needed and trainings that I got. Speaker 3 00:04:44 Well, and, and we say, you know, the difficulty of, of grabbing some of that education and making, I, I, I find that there's a ton of content out there, but getting content in that video format and something that's consumable with our day and kind of where we're going off of all of that, you've really found a heck of a good niche on there. Speaker 0 00:05:03 Oh, thanks. Yeah. I mean, care caregivers don't have time to sit down and watch a three hour course about how to care for someone with dementia cuz they have to care for someone with dementia, you know, in the other room. And so, and so that's also, I think, a, a reason why my videos have taken off so well is because they're 30 to 90 seconds at most, and everyone has at least that amount of time, uh, to be able to watch something. And if it makes a difference in their day, makes things a little easier, less stressful, then my gosh, it's worth it. Speaker 3 00:05:35 Yeah. Well, and, and how, how brilliant of just adding that little step, right? When you, when you do have to eat an elephant, it's that one bite at a time concept. And uh, and I love that you spoonfeed that and you're still working with kids. It just happened to be adult children rather than, than the little children. Right? So, so tell, um, you are, uh, your practice today. You're, you guys are out, you're out in Kentucky. Uh, if, if I, okay. If I remember correctly. That's right. So, so the, um, and you previously, you've been up in Washington up in that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we, we talked, we both shared some, some history back there in the Yakima area. Yeah. Two very different dynamics of the country. Are there some similarities that you saw between those two when you're, when you're looking against this, that makes it easier? Are there things that are unique from one, one area of the country to the other that really stand out in your head, or, Speaker 0 00:06:24 Yeah, that's a great question. I also worked a little bit in Idaho too a few years ago. And there absolutely is a difference. You know, culturally there are differences. In Kentucky, it's much more, a lot of the nursing homes I worked in were really rural. I'll also add that in the last nine years I've worked in eight different places cuz we love to move. So I've seen a lot of different <laugh>, different options there. But, um, you know, a lot of nursing homes I've worked in has been really rural. Um, and there there's a lot of, I wanna keep mama at home, um, multi-family houses anyways, you know, that grandparents are raising grandchildren. And, and so there's, there's a complication there of what it might look like when grandma gets dementia and she's the one that's raising children. There's a lot of, um, custody issues. Speaker 0 00:07:13 Uh, I've seen here, when I lived in Yakima, there's a really large, uh, native American and Hispanic population there. Right? And the traditions, uh, for both groups is very much that you care for people at home, right? You, you honor your, your loved ones, your, your elders. And there's a lot of pressure of caregivers to, to tackle, um, caregiving on their own, you know, without nursing homes, without care communities. And when something happens where they do have to go to a nursing home for rehab or whatever it might be, the guilt, the shame I think that's shared unfortunately across all cultures is, is that feeling, um, of, of shame and guilt at times. Uh, that's often an un very unhealthy part of caregiving. But I often tell caregivers that we can't make decisions on care or make our decisions about how we feel about ourselves based on the presence or absence of guilt, because guilt is always there. And so if we always think that every time we experience guilt, that means we've made a wrong decision. That's not the case. Speaker 3 00:08:22 Yeah, I, I, I would, uh, I would agree. One way that, that I've learned to, to couch that is guilt has its place maybe before the fact, after, you know, a a after something's been done, it really has no value within that side. So, you know that that's a piece of it to carve out, get it away, move past where those things are at. But, you know, we, we, we need to, we're gonna take our first break here, uh, but when we come back, I think I really would like to start at some actionable. So, you know, if you're, if you wanna keep, you know, mom at home, if, if this is something, maybe you made that promise, which we've made that promise like that, that you make a while, right? And the reality of it is starting to set in. I want to talk about, I really wanna get back as soon as we come back in here about what those pragmatic and those practical steps are gonna be of maybe just understanding what this environment looks like to get our arms around it so that we can start performing. W stay tuned right after this message. We've got Adria Thompson and we are talking about living in their world. Speaker 4 00:09:27 Sometimes I'd like to smack old age, right in the kisser. Wow. Speaker 5 00:09:32 I always get the best parking spot. I think she needs a little more help. Speaker 4 00:09:37 Monday, what Speaker 5 00:09:39 I really need is a boyfriend that can drive at night. Speaker 4 00:09:43 I can make a fashion statement out of anything. I will be fabulous. I have Speaker 6 00:09:49 A little crush on my pharmacist With comfort Care at your side, you can live your best life possible. We know families can't be there 24 7, which is why we can help with as much or as little home care as you need from medication reminders and meal prep to everyday chores and errands so you can live in your own home on your terms. Speaker 4 00:10:09 I wouldn't let aging stop me from being me. Speaker 6 00:10:13 Call Comfort for care now and let us create your personalized care plan and find the perfect caregiver match. Speaker 5 00:10:19 Can you show that number again? She was texting Speaker 6 00:10:22 Together with Comfort for Care. You can both live your best life possible. Speaker 3 00:10:27 Hey, and welcome back. Uh, we've got Adria Thompson with us, a social media influencer and a speech pathologist that specializes in dementia care. And we're gonna dive into May maybe you've made, um, you know, may maybe you've made that, uh, that promise that, uh, mom, you get to stay here until you don't remember anybody else. Uh, and very quickly, I think one of the first things that really set in for us, the first time we had made a promise like that was understanding that to fulfill that obligation, once it starts hitting, you have to have the answer for the day before that, right? For, well, well, how are we gonna take care of the day that happens before that day, which is not gonna be a great day for us? Uh, and it's gonna be really complex and you start breaking up to see, wow, this is, I have a lot in front of me. Speaker 3 00:11:17 There's a lot to get through. Um, one of the things that, that I've heard other folks we've had come through the show talk about is the importance of when they were, they reminded us of when you learn first aid classes, don't go when the first thing they teach you. When you see somebody that's in, in trouble, you know, maybe electrocuted or something, you don't just go run into it. You have to stop and you have to look to make sure you don't become the next victim of what's going, what's going on there. We have this built in the back of our head. We learned it at brownies, Cub Scouts, girl scouts, boy scouts, whatever these things may be, right? Someone's probably taught us at some time. I'd really love to start digging into understanding their world and what that looks like and, and how that journey is and some of those key things and those takeaways that you like best or maybe those, those critical nuggets you've, where you've really learned. Is there a, Adrian, is there a great place to start when you're trying to understand your loved one's place or where they're at or what the world looks like to them that you've seen work really well? Speaker 0 00:12:19 Yeah, I think that the most success you'll have as a caregiver is by entering and into, into their world. But that's the hard part is like, what does that look like? How do you know? And so I think the very first thing that I love to talk to caregivers about is understanding that dementia is very much a real diagnosis. Much like ex people experience heart failure or kidney failure. This is brain failure. And when we can shift our perspective and realize that this is not them being difficult, trying to complicate things, them making choices that can be complicated. And that makes us frustrated when we start to realize this is a medical condition and they're doing the best they can. That gets us, first of all just kind of set in a good perspective and makes us realize, okay, this is not just them being ornery. Yeah. This is a medical condition, this is brain failure. Speaker 3 00:13:12 Yeah. Well, and you, there's another aspect of that, of when you're dealing with a medical condition and you know, one that's that's terminal and it's end. Um, man, there's emotions that come to that and how you even process that, right? That's mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's gotta be a huge piece that you gotta learn how to, you know, how how can you best give that to them when you're understanding, when you're, when you're walking into the situation. Speaker 0 00:13:35 Yeah. And I think what, because other conditions, like I I explained like heart failure, liver failure, we ha we see physical symptoms. Yeah. And so it's almost easier for us to process when we see what's happening. Like when we see the evidence of what's going on, whether, I mean, it's still hard, but at least we can, we see that physical evidence of like, okay, this is what's happening and, and we can kind of begin the process at that point. But for individuals with dementia, sometimes it's such a gray area for so long that you're like, is this really them being com? Like, you know, is this them being difficult or is this dementia? And so we, we delay that like processing I think longer when it is a neurological, uh, cognitive disorder than when it's physical. Speaker 3 00:14:24 Yeah. Well and you, there's also, you know, there's this rush. There's um, one, one thing that we see in any end of life planning, whenever you have a diagnosis that that has an end that will come to it like that, um, you know, a lot of what, there's a lot of preparation that you wanna start taking. And I know when we've started dealing with diagnosis of, of dementia and, and our families and, and talk with other families through it, there are, you have kind of a limited window to make changes for them to be as autonomous as possible and, and mm-hmm. <affirmative> smooth as possible. There's this like tight window when change is recommended and then mm-hmm. <affirmative> things settle in and they're like, okay, well this, this is your window of change once you've hit that this is really what's gonna be easiest is just maintaining that cuz this is what they're gonna go to and what you'll work through. Speaker 3 00:15:14 Um, what is, what you know is that seems to be a really hard thing to wrap our mind around that. Um, if I'm gonna move them from a bedroom upstairs to downstairs mm-hmm. <affirmative> the time to do that is gonna be like in the next six months or it can't ever happen. Not cause they don't want to or they're being difficult mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but literally because they're just not gonna be in a position to be able to remember, oh this is where I go now so I'm comfortable. Right. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, those are any good strategies with that that you guys have come across? Speaker 0 00:15:44 Yeah, I think that the earliest you can do something, the better. That is kind of the general rule. Uh, because if we can foresee, and this is where education really comes into play with dementia, is if you can understand the different types of dementia and the symptoms that are gonna come with that, the stages of dementia and what might come in the future, then we can look forward and make plans now that's going to benefit them down the road. So if we know that balance is gonna be an issue, let's say someone with Lewy body dementia that has a Parkinson's component and they're living upstairs, if we understand the expect like the proper expectations that we should have for them physically and cognitively, then we can plan better. Hey, moving them downstairs is probably gonna be best. So because we know dementia is a degenerative disease, that it gets worse over time. We know that we need to make changes now while they're still cognitively able to establish new routines to, to understand that that change. Yeah. And sometimes we feel like we're a little too late, but still the earlier the better rather than, than waiting and they might not always wanna do things. Yeah. That's always the friction is when we as caregivers know the things that are good for them and then them with dementia don't wanna do it. That's always where the friction occurs. Yeah. Always. Speaker 3 00:17:09 Yeah. Well, and and coping with that, um, and being able to understand that and not take it personal. Yeah. Can be super, can be super tough. Cuz you're also oftentimes talking about a loved one. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> somebody, somebody that you care about, that relationship you care about. Uh, we've seen in a lot of family cases where there was, there was things that needed to settle or there was, you know, conversations that needed to be had. And, and, and you, you, I hear people talk about how, you know, we weren't able to get to that conversation or I was afraid we weren't gonna be able to get to that conversation. Or even if we got to that conversation, I didn't know that, that they'd know they, that we'd had that conversation. Right. I didn't have peace of mind that it really did what I wanted it to do or, or could do where what we really wanted it to do that, um, you bring great points with that. Speaker 3 00:17:59 What are, you know, when, what are, um, what are some of those earlier things that we can be doing to, to start setting us up for success when we're not able to direct them, when we're not like knowing that I, I know you're one advocate that pulling in help and having that professional help without feeling guilty about that, but knowing that there's phenomenal care centers out there, how do you, is that, is that one you just wait until it slides past where they're part of that conversation? Is it one, um, you, you know, and then you're just trying to carry out their will within that or, or what their wishes would be within that? Or is it, is it one that you just try to push that conversation because, because it's, it, it's easier for them. Is there something you've seen work better than others? Speaker 0 00:18:50 Yeah, I think when we have those situations that come up that we want them to do something, we think that it's gonna be beneficial for them, and yet they don't want to do it or they, that conversation feels too tricky to maneuver. Um, there is a lot of times people will say that what the tips or tricks that I give is like manipulation. Right? It's like manipulating them into doing something. But I like to see it as motivating. Um, individuals with dementia often do not have that intrinsic motivation anymore. Like when I get up and I'm like, oh, I don't wanna work out, I don't feel like working out. Yeah. But I do it because I know it's good for me. Individuals with dementia, because of the changes that happen in their brain, that's a really complex thought. And so they don't always have the ability to push past that. I don't wanna do it just like I don't wanna do it. Um, and so what we can do is create opportunities for motivating them extrinsically rather than just hoping that they're gonna want to. And so, I don't know, this might be a good time. We can talk about like, um, four or five steps and what to do. I Speaker 3 00:19:54 Love it. Speaker 0 00:19:55 Okay. Yeah. So what, what do we do when we want someone with dementia to do something and they don't wanna do it? Okay. I think the very first step is, uh, to just listen, do nothing. So we say, let's give the example. We want them to shower. That's for sim simplicity. Hey mom, you need to shower. It's been a week since you showered last. And she says, no, I don't want to. Okay. In that moment we're very quick to be like, but <laugh>, but mom, right. And explain it. And so I always say the very first step is to do nothing. And that is very much an intentional step we have to make is just to listen, to take a beat to just, okay, Speaker 3 00:20:37 Hear you. Is it a breath? Is it a breath? Is it credibility? What do you find? What, what, what's the, what's the jewel, what's the crown jewel of that? Speaker 0 00:20:44 I think in this moment it's just to take a breath and make eye contact and wa make them see that you're listening, right? Yeah. Yeah. Then the next step would be to validate. And that is where we just repeat back to them exactly what they said. You don't wanna shower rather than, but you need to, we instead just say, we don't, we don't complain. Or like, we don't argue about the facts of it. We just say, here's your feelings. Serve it back to them on a platter. You don't want to shower. That just immediately shows them, okay, number one, that you listened, right? But then also like that, that you are are processing that yourself. And then so we do nothing. We just listen, then we validate and then we can empathize and we don't have to agree with them. Like, oh yeah, you shouldn't, you don't have to shower. Speaker 0 00:21:34 But we can say, I don't like people telling me what to do either. Yeah. At mom, I got that from you. Right. Like, I am very much an independent person just like you. And I don't like it when someone tells me what to do either or, you know, if I already showered, I would feel we are showering again too. But just take that moment of like, I get it, you're frustrated. I would be frustrated too. Yeah. And, and then the next step is kind of where we take the turn, which is consider that they're Right. Like, that can be really hard. Hard. Like what? We're gonna Speaker 3 00:22:07 Have commercial break right now, <laugh>. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:22:10 Yeah. Cause yeah, I mean, cause like every, I'm a firm believer that everything someone with dementia does or feels, makes sense to them. Like someone could be out like mowing the grass with, you know, a I don't know, a toy. Yeah. And, but it makes sense to them. They, they might be eating the rind of a watermelon for some reason it makes sense to them. And instead of just immediately thinking, oh my gosh, that is outrageous, that is un impractical, that is irrational. If we just meet with them thinking if that were true for me, what, what would I wanna hear? What would we do? And I think I have a good example for this that might be helpful for your listeners to kind of make this connection at work, worked in memory care and there was a lady, we'll call her Mary, and she was brand new to the facility, and all the staff are coming to me saying, she says she needs to go to the bathroom. Speaker 0 00:23:08 She agrees to go to the bathroom then, but then when we try to get her to sit down on the toilet, she just stiffens up and she fights and screams and pushes and we have no idea what's going on. And so I went and I tried taking her to the bathroom over the course of several days and she was doing the same thing to me. And I just had this moment one day, probably the third or fourth time I tried it where I heard her say icky right before we got to the toilet. And she's one that like, couldn't verbally express her feelings very well. And I saw her facial expressions and it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I was like, what is, what's the situation in which I don't wanna sit on a toilet seat when it's dirty? Like, and she was someone who had visual hallucinations, she had Lewy body dementia, so could it be that she was having a hallucination of bugs on the seat or, or something, right? Speaker 0 00:23:53 Yeah. Being in her world. And so I just had this moment of like, oh my gosh, she thinks it's dirty. And so I went over with a wet wipe and I cleaned the seat and I said, okay, Mary, it's clean. She turned around and sat right down perfectly Right. Great. And so just think taking that moment of like, in what situation would this be true? You know, and like, what would I want to hear? And so if, what would be a situation in which I would shower if I thought I already did or if I didn't want to, like, maybe you win like an all-inclusive, uh, all expenses peg spa day. Like you tell them, oh my gosh, mom, you won. There's gonna be a lady coming in and she's gonna give you a big spa day experience and really it's your friend from church <laugh>. Um, but if that's what it takes to kind of jump that her of number one, getting a shower, but number two, doing it in an exciting way, in a motivating way rather than just like manhandling her or, you know, arguing until you just exhaust her into agreeance, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:24:52 Well, I mean that, that, so and so the last one in considering the right is you're resolving you, you're gonna, is is it to resolve based on that consideration? Did I, did I Speaker 0 00:25:03 To, to spec to that specific objection to what they're voicing? What would be a situation in which we can overcome that without arguing that that's not true? Right? Yeah. You say, I've already showered today. Instead of saying, well, I, no, you haven't, it's been two weeks. You say, oh, okay, so you've already showered today. Well, here's a situation in which it would make sense to shower again. For one fella, I, um, would always have him, I would help him trim his beard and I would purposefully like not put a cape or anything over his clothes. So we'd have little bits of white hair all over his skin and clothes. And afterwards I'd be like, oh no, Bob, I'm so sorry. I I got clo that here, let's just take those clothes off real quick and you can rinse off in the shower. And he would be agreeable to that. But had I started with, Hey, go shower, it was a heck no. You know? Right. Absolutely not. So, so just practicing being creative and thinking in what situation, how could I spin this to not disagree with how they're feeling, but still get the job done? It takes practice. Speaker 3 00:26:08 Yeah. Well, and it is a huge effort of just empathy and love. I mean, it's an outpouring of, and and I love that, that, um, I love that that's, that's, that's, that practicing is literally putting yourself into their moment. And the more you do that, I have to imagine, the easier it gets to, to accomplish that or to, to exercise that, that muscle or that yeah. That thought process. Is that, does that make sense? Speaker 0 00:26:36 That's that's so true. It absolutely does. And I had the benefit of like working with, you know, 40 to 50 people with dementia at a time, like in a month. And so I got like a lot of practice seeing things at work, but you know, you know your loved one better than anyone. Like, you know them better than any other person on this planet. And so, you know, what motivates them? What makes them tick? If there's somebody who has always been a giver that always likes to care for others, how can we spend the situation in which, oh, yes, showering isn't just for your benefit, but it's for someone else. You know, your granddaughter's coming over later and she wanted to take some pictures with you, so let's shower for her. You know, and so just, just thinking about is it, is it pride that motivates them? Is it recognition? Is it honor? Is it caring for other people, making other people feel loved? And how can we spin it in a way that makes them feel that identity and that purpose? Speaker 3 00:27:31 Yeah. That I, I heard somebody, um, man, I wish I could remember. They, they used it as a intimacy, but into me see, right, mm-hmm. <affirmative> with that ability to, to see into somebody where that was. And I just, man, it's just screaming in the back of my head after thinking through that five step process from it. So Yeah. I love that. We're gonna, um, we're gonna take one more break when we come back from that, I actually, I, I'd like to break through that again and just make sure that we've, we've really understand that as we walk through, maybe hear another example or so as we to, to just kind of fine tune our mind and to make sure that we've, we've kind of grasped that. So, um, everybody, if you wanna stay tuned with us all, I've got, uh, Adrian Thompson and we are going to be trying to live in their world, uh, as we break down, uh, the diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer's, uh, for our loved ones this week on the Parent Projects podcast. Stay tuned. We'll be right back. I'm Tony Siebers, I'm the founder of Parent Projects and I'm gonna take you on a quick tour of the organization. Come on. Speaker 3 00:28:33 The organization is full of surprises and if you've seen one parent project, you've seen one parent project. So generally we just try to be mission driven, objective, virtuous, empathetic, and dependable. We call it being moved. Come on and let me show you the insight. Speaker 3 00:28:51 So our organization lives inside the Arizona State University SkySong Innovation Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. It gives us an opportunity to be around a lot of creative people and creativity. Well, sometimes it turns into trouble, but most of the time it's gonna turn into quality content for you. I just want to take this moment to tell you, we're pleased to have you here. We look forward to helping you. If there's anything at all that you need, please reach out, follow us on the other socials that you like best in the platform that's your favorite, and until you and I get an opportunity to talk one-on-one, behold and be held, Speaker 3 00:29:35 Hey and welcome back. We are in this week talking with Adria Thompson, uh, who is a speech language pathologist who specializes in dementia care. The is a social influencer that spends a lot of time helping us families and, uh, and adult caretakers really learn how to get underneath, uh, the problem, maybe move past the, the fruit of the problem down into the root of the problem so that you can get into the world of our loved one. And, uh, and Adria, I just, I I've loved having you on today. Thanks again for being with us today. Speaker 0 00:30:09 Yes, of course. It's been fun. Speaker 3 00:30:11 So in, um, in that, I, well, I, I hope you may actually in fun isn't something you go to think through, but I gotta tell you, I I really, really enjoy that five steps. So we, we walked through and, and I wanna see if I, if I grabbed them, if I, if I was paying attention Yeah. And I was listening properly to pick it up there, um, these were, man, such a common thing. Such a common thing. You've gotta get somebody who is at an increasing position of, of, um, of difficulty in being able to do something and capability in the first place. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they have an emotional capability that is dwindling and working all around that, like in a orbit, all of that. And then every caretaker around them is processing what's going on. And that just seems to make insane opportunities for hard conflict. Right? Yeah, Speaker 0 00:31:07 Yeah. Speaker 3 00:31:08 Y youve, um, you've given us, uh, the thought process of how to solve problems when we come to that longer head without making the problem the problem. And I think that's pretty, I think that's pretty danging brilliant. So, okay. So let me see, lemme see how I did. Okay. Okay. Okay. So I picked up the first thing when dad does not wanna do what I want him to do is I'm going to, I'm going to do nothing and I'm going to listen Speaker 0 00:31:36 To him. Yeah. Yeah. It's intentional. It's a moment of I'm not gonna respond in the way that I feel like responding immediately. Speaker 3 00:31:45 Yeah. Well, you, you, you talked about making that eye contact, that is, this is a moment where I am looking, I'm looking to see and to let him know I'm hearing mm-hmm. Where he is at. And unequivocally, I'm not thinking of what I'm going to say next. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> am just listening to that moment. Am I tackling that right? That's Speaker 0 00:32:08 Exactly right. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:32:09 And that's tough. Like, it's gonna take a little bit of practice. I'm not gonna lie, that's step one for crying out loud. I love that step because that also puts me back, that puts me back in that heart, uh, to, to be able to, I mean, to actually go move towards that empathy thing, right? So I'm gonna need that moment to collect myself, because the next thing you've talked about is I have to validate what they said mm-hmm. <affirmative> by repeating it back to them. And, and, and I gotta probably do it in a way that doesn't sound like a smart ally. Speaker 0 00:32:41 Oh yeah. It's very easy to be like, oh, you don't wanna shower today, huh? Speaker 3 00:32:45 Oh, yeah, <laugh>. Yeah. Oh Speaker 0 00:32:49 Yes. Speaker 3 00:32:49 Oh man, I can totally Speaker 0 00:32:50 See that. Absolutely. Yeah. It's, it's that next step is just like, is you don't wanna shower. Yeah. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:32:58 I I hear you. I'm hearing what you're saying to me. This is what, uh, what I've got from that. Uh, Speaker 0 00:33:04 Or even if it's not like a specific thing, cuz sometimes people don't actually verbalize their objection. Maybe they can't, maybe it's a physical reaction of them. You know, it's, and it's just, it's not necessarily that you're repeating a phrase back. It could just be that, you know, you're angry, you're frustrated at me, you know, just to, to repeat back what they say or what they're showing you. Mm-hmm. Speaker 3 00:33:28 <affirmative>. Yeah. And so there's probably an element of the nonverbal cues where when you're reading that back, is that kind of also a discovery to see if you got it right? Yeah. I mean, do you, do you just kind of replace steps one and two until you get a confirmation from that? Or you just feel that okay, may I think I found the right, the right one? Speaker 0 00:33:48 Yeah. It definitely depends on the person's cognitive ability, whether they're like yes or no, or it could just be like, sometimes you just see the tenseness kind of like relax when they're like, oh my gosh, this person understands. Like, yeah, they, they get it. Uh, just yeah, repeating back, you're angry, you're upset. Sometimes they might be like, no, I'm not mad. I'm just like frustrated with everything. You know, they might, they might kind of change things around, but yeah, it, it's a, it's a moment of, of making sure you, you are understanding what's going on. Speaker 3 00:34:19 Yeah. Which is gonna open the door to step three where I empathize mm-hmm. <affirmative> with that situation. Um, so in, in understanding, uh, you know, I don't, I don't like doing this thing either. I, I'm tired, I, the last thing I kind of would wanna do right now is also go up there. We just had a big meal and I can understand you're probably tired. Mm-hmm. Is that, am I That's Speaker 0 00:34:45 Right. I Speaker 3 00:34:45 Thrown down. Speaker 0 00:34:46 That's right. And it, and when we reflect back those feelings and tell them that we understand or we've been there too, uh, sometimes it's not actually the specific problem. It might just be what they're experiencing. Right. So it's may not always be about, you know, if we tell someone, no, you can't drive, you know, it's not necessarily, maybe they're angry. Yeah. But it's not about not driving, it's not about not going to the dollar store. It's actually about their independence. And so that allows us a moment to kind of broaden the thing and say, it's not just like, I know I love going to the dollar store too, maybe, but also, you know what? I love to be independent as well. Speaker 3 00:35:25 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:35:26 And, you know, and so just kind of opening the door to making them here and understand that it's, you know, it's not just about that specific problem, that it's a bigger, it's a bigger situation. Speaker 3 00:35:37 Yeah. Well, and, and that then should open our mind to help us handle and swallow the pill of number four a little bit easier, which could be really difficult in some situations and probably most situations. And that is kind of like number one, and just listening, we are now going to make an assumption that they're Right. Yeah. And, and this, I I like this a lot in what you were talking, I, I find in disagreements, even in those that aren't demented or working from that, when you see two people at a loggerhead in, in, in, in, in an, in a argument for things. So of, so, so rarely is it a or this or that, or A or B, it's almost always in my life, it's been both and mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I generally find that what people affirm tends to be true. Uh, those things that they know and what they work with. Speaker 3 00:36:27 It's all the other kind of assumptions that layer onto the outside of that that makes it sticky and difficult or went into the wrong direction for where it was. And this gives us that opportunity to say, okay, well now we're gonna discover from what we just heard them say, what we've told them, we've heard them say how we've seen them respond to, oh, okay, yep, I'm onto something from here. Um, I can empathize and know that that's difficult and that's starting to reflect, and now I'm gonna say, okay, we, yeah, they're right. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you're, you're, you know, that that's, yeah. Speaker 0 00:36:55 And, and some, some situations can be easier than others. Like saying, okay, um, if they say, I've already showered today, it's like, you know, it's not detrimental to be like, okay, well let's pretend like they're right and they have showered today, then what could we do to make them wanna shower again? That feels easier to kind of like, think through than them saying, you stole all of my money, or you're, you know, my husband's cheating on me with the nurse. Like, some of these more personal, like, character kind of things can be no caregiver. You know, that's really where I hear caregivers kind of pump the brakes in this process when they're like, listen, I am not ever going to even myself entertain the thought of those things being true. But, uh, it's often we have to realize that dementia is tricky and the fact that like, we're never gonna convince them that they're not. Yeah. And so, like, let's pretend like what they're saying is true. Yeah. How can we make them feel safe in that moment? How can we let them feel loved in that moment? You know? And, and some of those more personal things, uh, it's, it's tricky, but we still just need to say, okay, even if that were to be true, how can we make them feel loved and safe in this moment? Speaker 3 00:38:16 Yeah. I, I, I think of, and, and actually we talk about this a lot in working with families and how to problem solve is you're looking to follow water, watch where the water's running and the direction that things are gonna wanna go. And if you can find that, you know, to the fifth point, which is we're gonna resolve that specific objection, I think the, the art, there's an art and science to all of this. Um, the science and the understanding of what's actually going on, the technicalities of it, the facts not arguing over the facts from that. Right. But that art is being able to see the water where it's running, where that natural motion goes Yeah. And then work through that. I, um, yeah. I, I, I looked in, in that one particular video that I opened and was, was talking about that, that really struck me. Speaker 3 00:39:01 There was the demeanor in which you were working with how to get somebody to move like off of a couch. And one of the things you, you were even, I think I can see a practice of all of this, even within that you were looking to just using different types of cues or conversation points that took on that, you know, it didn't become about we're gonna have this discussion and you gotta follow me in where any of those things could be. It became, it like shifted the thought process to, well naturally everything's gonna move this way. And so you move this way too and bef, you know, they just do. Yeah. And you, you were able to work off of that. It was brilliant. It Speaker 0 00:39:37 Was really ok. Yeah. That I couldn't, I didn't know exactly which one you were talking about earlier, but it's perton, that's the term that perton Yes, that's exactly, yeah. And so, yeah, and peria, like, when we want someone to move in the direction we want to, yet you're right. It's not, we're not getting down in their face. And, you know, even though we use all the grid communication strategies, eye contact and all of these things, like sometimes it just takes social cues, which is turning your back to them looking back and saying, come on, like, let's go. Like, I'm waiting for you. This expectation exists. Yeah. Um, and, and, and thinking about, you know, what, how you would respond best in that situation. So yeah, that final, that final step of, of resolving that specific objection, someone has, uh, takes a lot of creativity, a lot of practice. I can tell you myself, nine times outta 10, I'm gonna get it wrong, but that one time outta 10 that I try something that works, that's game changing, that's caregiving changing, right? Yeah. Like, it's, it's huge. Speaker 3 00:40:40 Well, and it's, it's a life giving type of success. Mm. That just gets you in there the next day. I mean, I I love that you state that nine times outta 10, you know, you're gonna fall down on this because that is a reality of caregiving, family caregiving. Yes. I mean, it is, it, it is just building an airplane while in the air and, and just trying to figure everything out as you go through that this type of a process though has left you in a position where you've had a moment where you've connected with that person as a human being and had that opportunity to solve a little problem in a direction in which they were working off of that. And that's a great thing to, to really grab onto. And I, and I love how you shared with us. Yeah, yeah. So tell us how can people get more of Adrian Thompson's amazing advice and, and this expertise that you've really laid down. Where can we find you? Speaker 0 00:41:31 You can find me on social media, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook at Be Light Care. Um, so you can click on any of those social media platforms, search, be Light Care. You'll find me. I also have a website be like care care.com. I do caregiver consultation. So if you'd like to sit down with me for an hour and chat about your specific situation, we can walk through what that looks like. And yeah, I am, I'm always updating people. I have speaking engagements and stuff like that, so if you follow me on social media, you'll see those announcements when they come. Speaker 3 00:42:06 I think it's fantastic. And hopefully, we'll, we'll wrangle you out, maybe have you out here in Scottsdale for us in the fall when we, when we have the national conference. I think you, you'd offer a lot to a lot of businesses who are working and connecting with these folks to bring their expertise in. You're clearly making a great impact in the world, and, uh, I just can't tell you how much I appreciate you again, coming on and sharing your time, talents, and treasures with us today. Thank Speaker 0 00:42:29 You. Well, thank you. Thank you. It's been great. Speaker 2 00:42:37 Well, that's it for the team this week, and thanks for joining us. If you've enjoyed the content, remember to subscribe and to share this episode on the app that you're using right now. Your reviews and your comments, they really help us expand our reach as well as our perspective. So if you have time, also drop us a note. Let us know how we're doing for tips and tools to clarify your parent project, simplify communication with your stakeholders, and verify the professionals that you choose. You can find us on YouTube, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again for trusting us. Until our next episode, behold and be held. Speaker 7 00:43:09 Thank you for listening to this Parent Projects podcast production. To access our show notes, resources, or forums, join us on your favorite social media platform or go to parent projects.com. This show is for informational and educational purposes only. Before making any decisions consulted professional credential in your local area. 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