My friend works at a local radio station. She asked me to do a couple of voice-overs for the local crisis pregnancy center. After recording them, she said kindly, “Now try it again. This time smile. Your smile really does change the way your voice sounds.”
I smiled as she recorded me a second time. She played both back for me. What a difference!!! I could actually HEAR my SMILE!
I’ve been trying to be more intentional about smiling when I say “good morning” or tell her a meal is ready, instead of only smiling immediately after I say something or when she’s looking at me scared or confused. It is making difference! I can hear it in my voice!! And I can see it on her face.
Smiling is hard when she asks the same question for the twelfth time. Or makes a mess. Or doesn’t do as instructed.
When I remember her brain is broken and she needs me to help her feel loved and safe, smiling is easier. And smiling helps us both have a better day.
Perhaps you could try it today. SMILE while you speak to your person with Dementia (PWD). Even if you don’t feel like it. Maybe you will begin to feel better.