5:00:16 PM

WORKSHOP 1 - Understanding the World of Alzheimer's
WORKSHOP 2 - Non Verbal Communication
WORKSHOP 3 - Verbal Communication
WORKSHOP 4 - Listening Skills
WORKSHOP 5 - Tools for Behaviors
WORKSHOP 6 - Tools for Caregiving


RITUAL: Name tags/Handouts/Snack/Sit in a new seat

DISCUSSION: Talk about last week’s class

ICEBREAKER: Pick one from my big list


* Researchers define verbal communication as any means of communicating that uses words, numbers or symbols. The average person spends 70% - 80 % of their day communicating verbally.
9 % Writing
16 % Reading
30 % Speaking
45 % Listening

EXERCISE: Making the PBJ

DISCUSSION : After the Making the PBJ exercise , I go through the handouts of which of the points applied. Usually # 1 - 7, 13 and 14 I explain each in more detail as point out how they did or did not use these techniques in the exercise.

HANDOUTS for Communication: Verbal (click for printable PDF)

* Which is your personal stumbling block? Which one of these points do you need to remind yourself of or consistently work on? Let the group know which one. Show you are human.

  1. Slow down
    We are so used to speaking quickly. Record yourself and listen to
    how fast you speak.
    * I use the example of trying to listen to your answering machine
    or voice mail and how quickly people are speaking. You can’t even
    understand their message.
  2. Be Specific
    “ Go there.”” Sit by her.”” Put that on your head.” All of those can
    be misunderstood. Make sure you are as clear as possible.
  3. One instruction at a time
    Processing takes longer and more than 1 instruction will be
    forgotten. See # 3 & 8

    EXERCISE: Brush Your Teeth

  4. Stay away from pronouns.
    He. She. It. We need to be specific.
  5. Validate Feelings & Empathize
    Be aware of the persons facial expression and the tone of their voice. Let them know you understand.
  6. Use their name
    If you are not sure if you know someone - but they know and say your name, it is reassuring. "If you are walking down the hallway and you hear someone say your name ‘ Karen !’ you turn and look and assume this person knows you."
  7. Be Patient
    Sometimes it is very hard. You want to just do it yourself or finish the sentence. Give respect and dignity. Take a deep breath.
  8. Who Where What.
    Begin with orienting information. "Good Morning Mr. Jones! I’m Karen and I am here to take you to therapy."
  9. Don’t argue
    You won’t win. Ever. Most of the time there is logic to their argument.
  10. Repeat. And repeat it exactly the same.
    If you are having trouble being understood. Look at # 8. And repeat what you said exactly the same way. The person is trying to remember and process what you said the first time. Don’t change the words around to try and help them. It won’t. If repetition does not work, try saying it in a new way.
  11. If you ask questions - try to give 2 choices or a “yes/no” question.
    "Bill, here’s your sweater, would you like to wear your blue sweater or red sweater?" When giving choices, put the choices at the end of the sentence. You may have to show the items.

    EXERCISE: Questions into Polite Commands
  12. Avoid abstract words.
    Use "Let’s eat soup" instead of "Let’s eat lunch".
    * Explain further what is abstract and concrete.
  13. Think about the environment.
    Is the TV blaring and 4 or 5 people talking in the background and your care receiver is not responding at all ? Be aware of distractions and new surroundings.
  14. Praise. Praise. Praise.
    Everyone wants and needs to know they are doing well. Non verbal and verbal reassurance is a must.
  15. Laugh
    This is a universal way of communicating.

    EXERCISE: Yes Let’s !
    EXERCISE: Red ball Thank You!
    EXERCISE: Scene in 2 Sentences - Verbal

HANDOUT: Change the Sentence
You can have them do this worksheet alone or in pairs.

CLOSER: Look at list of closers.

EVALUATION: Fill out one page evaluation (click for printable PDF)

HOMEWORK : Look over your handouts and which of these apply to you? Which one can you focus on for this next week?

click here for
version of
Workshop 3



©2003 Karen Stobbe and "In The Moment". Material may be freely distributed with proper accreditation.