Dementia and English as a Second Language

Are you enjoying my blog posts? Grab a free download of one chapter from my audiobook here and also receive any future helpful tips and posts right to your inbox! I’ve had a number of clients and residents over the years lose their ability to speak. Sometimes this happens early in the disease process, andContinue reading “Dementia and English as a Second Language”

How Elvis saved the day

Photo credit: Public domain One group of people I particularly enjoy working with are people with aphasia. While it’s extra challenging—people with aphasia usually don’t speak—it can be really rewarding. When someone with aphasia does speak, you know that you’re really connecting with them. I had been with Kelly for five hours and she hadn’tContinue reading “How Elvis saved the day”

How to engage with someone who doesn’t respond

Belma’s eyes closed lightly as she was transferred from her bed into her wheelchair and brought down the hall for breakfast. She was peaceful, but did not seem to respond much to the world around her. At times her hands were restless as they sat in her lap: picking at the chair, a blanket, orContinue reading “How to engage with someone who doesn’t respond”

Connecting with those who have aphasia

Aphasia is a disorder that causes someone to lose the ability to speak, or to have difficulty speaking. It is not uncommon for people with dementia have aphasia. One of my favorite things is when someone with aphasia speaks to me. It happens every once in a while. I’ve had a few residents with aphasia,Continue reading “Connecting with those who have aphasia”

Talking Aphasia

One of my favorite things is when someone with dementia, who doesn’t normally speak, speaks to me. It happens every once in a while. I’ve had a few residents with aphasia, which means that they have (usually) the inability to communicate verbally. Interestingly, I’ve found that even though these residents usually can’t speak, they makeContinue reading “Talking Aphasia”

A Conversation.

Elizabeth* usually cannot speak. Her dementia has impaired her ability to communicate verbally, but she’s incredibly expressive. Often, if spoken to, she’ll make noises like she’s talking, smile, and motion with her hands. Every once in a while, actual words come out, and it’s nothing short of magical. We “talk” constantly. I always talk toContinue reading “A Conversation.”

Sock Puppets.

I think there’s a lot that we can learn from people with dementia, especially those who don’t communicate in normal ways. I’ve blogged about a few of my residents with aphasia before, but there’s one in particular that always keeps me laughing. Truly, I’m laughing with her, because she’s always “telling” jokes. She has aphasia, which meansContinue reading “Sock Puppets.”

Shh, he’s sleeping.

We have a couple residents who don’t speak much, if at all. We also have a “baby station” that is set up to look like part of a nursery. A couple of us worked to relocate the station to an area where more residents would interact with it, and we have had a lot ofContinue reading “Shh, he’s sleeping.”


One of my favorite residents has aphasia, which essentially means she can’t communicate verbally. I also refer to this as “nonverbal,” because she does try to communicate how she’s feeling through body language. She loves to dance, smile, and sometimes uses simple words like “yes” or “no”. She’s very pleasant and is almost always smilingContinue reading “Aphasia.”

  • No products in the cart.