Meeting Emotional Needs
The following are a list of activities that family members can provide:
- Keep the patient company. Talk about activities of the day; reminisce about your happy shared moments from the past.
- Maintain a calm composure and be attentive, which will create a soothing atmosphere. Hold the patient’s hand while talking. Give a hand massage.
- Read portions of a favorite book that the patient read prior to his or her decline of the disease or favorite Bible passages.
- Play music of the type that was listened to in his or her teens and twenties. Identify music choices that are associated with past happy times. Utilize the Astrum Music Therapy Program.
- Look at family photos, especially those of early adulthood, wedding photos, children’s portraits and snapshots when children were young.
- Apply nail polish or make-up, favorite jewelry (even if worn for just the length of the visit).
- If they played cards, provide playing cards and hold them with the patient talking about the games that were enjoyed.
- Provide various texture fabrics to touch and hold.
- Collect items in a memory box of old photos, valued objects.
- Support any verbalization by joining in the connection of the words.
- Join in singing to the patient if you are comfortable singing a song from the past or sing songs related to his/her religious faith.
- Bring pets or trained pet therapy animals to the patient.
- Offer the Astrum Therapeutic Teddy Bear.