Thursday, March 09, 2006

Communication Ramps and Repairs

Jan had an uneventful day -lots of sleep-. Walter visited in the morning Mom and Louise visited in the afternoon and talked, laughed and watched Jan have dinner by herself. She thinks the food in this "joint" is not gourmet, so she objected to the unsweetened thickened cranberry juice (tastes a bit like a jawbreaker...).

The Speech and Language Therapist made a suggestion to start a "speech" journal where we can write down the dialogues Jan has with us. This would give her a broader view of Jan's progress. The journal is the green book with Jan's name on the back.

The therapist also told us that we can help Jan improve her communication by using repairs and ramps, simple talking tools when talking to her:

-To repair communication breakdowns we can build communication ramps: Jan can pronounce a few words very clearly, then the words become unclear. To help her, repeat the words you hear clearly and invite her to continue. This way she does not have to start from the beginning and her feelings of frustration evaporate.

These specific, concrete tools will make a greater joy talking with Jan while she makes progress in her recovery.

Thanks for joining in this journey.



Anne from Lindsay said...

Hello Fede,
I was in to see Jan yesterday, she has made great improvement from when I saw her a week ago on Thursday and also from when I saw her on Sunday. On Sunday Jan was deteremined to escape from the bed and I wanted so badly to help her only to give her a change of scenery, I did try to nagotiate with the nursing staff to perhaps let her go into a wheelchair for a change. It was also a beautiful sunny and mild day and I wanted her to breath in the spring air - but to no avail.
My daughter and I dropped in yesterday to visit with Jan but our visit was shortened almost as soon as we got there from another visitor, so we chatted with Louise and Donna and left. I know it's stressful for Jan to have too many at the same time - so we left. Perhaps next time I will get more time with her as I did on Sunday.

These last few days her progress has been awesome and I thank God for each and every one of them.


sharon said...

Fede, thanks for the suggestion regarding the communication ramps and repairs. That's a great idea about the journal to keep track of her progress. I will use it when I visit her next week again.

I visited Jan yesterday at 4:30pm for an hours. It was such a blessing to see her progress & be part of her life. She smiled when I came in & said "Hi" & reached her arm out to hug me. I got her magazine on Flowers & gardens. She looked at the magazine page by page, smiling at the roses, looking at the headlines. There was a page with the heading "Kids can help in the garden", she appeared to be reading this & smiled.

I asked her if I could sing a song. She said "yes". She had a huge peaceful smile on her face as she closed her eyes & listened.

I showed her the school pictures of my Godchild, Natalie who is 7 years old & her 3 sisters, who are 11, 9 and & 5. She smiled & her face lit up brightly as looked at each photo & was speaking as she was looking at them. I did not understand what she said. I showed her valentine cards I got from them. She looked at them & read who they were from & again smiled.

I talked to her about memories from the past. I told her how much I loved her. I talked more & she appeared to just listen, smile & nodd her head alot.

The resident doctor came in & asked her if she was getting enough food/water. Jan was expressive & starting talking to him. But again I did not understand what she said. She appeared definitely frustrated/disatified by the expression on her face. She closed her eyes back. The doctor was suprised that she was talking. ( I guess that was the first time he said he heard her talking).

she tried to make herself comfortable & sat up & straightened her sheets, pillows etc. I asked her if she wanted anything. She said "no thanks"

I asked her if I could pray with her. I said a prayer for her & she smiled. I read to her a psalm from my prayer book. she listened & seemed peaceful.

It was so hard to leave again. I told her I loved you & said I would be back soon. She nodded her head as her eyes were closed.

Jan, it was such a joy to visit you. I am grateful for your progress.

See you soon! I miss you!!!

sharon said...

Hi Anne (from Lindsay)

I just wanted to sorry that you left yesterday shortly after I arrived. I was not aware that you just had arrived. If I had known I certainly would have been willing compromise so we could both visit Jan eg. I could have waited in the visitor's lounge if you wanted, while you visited Jan with your daughter for 30 minutes. Then I could visit Jan for 30 minutes as I had to leave by 5:30pm.

Have a great day!