Lutheran Senior Services’ Erica Herman, Director of Social Services at Meramec Bluffs, recently spoke with Mike Roberts with Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis about the languages of love and how these apply to our aging loved ones. For example, reciprocation when someone says, “I love you” isn’t always possible from someone who has dementia, is no longer verbal, or can only response by non-audio responses such as blinking. Caregivers can still show love through snuggling, being with them, singing to them, but be aware that you may not get a direct response. It’s about commitment and emotional connection.
The gift of time is another way to show love for someone. This is about quality and intention. Whether you’re there all the time or a few days a week, make that the intentional time that you’re there with your loved one. This is the greatest gift you can give someone you love, the gift of your time.
Physical touch is still important and if touch doesn’t cause pain or discomfort there are gentle ways of touching someone that say, “I’m here with you and I care about you.” These include holding their hand, rubbing lotion on them, touching their brow, or tucking hair behind their ear.
Watch the full video above to learn more about how to show the older adults in your life that you care.