I have memories of my mother's touch as a toddler. I remember sitting on her bed looking at magazines. She would reach over and pat my hand and go back to her own reading. Other memories were of Mother rubbing my back just before I took a nap or went to sleep as a youngster.
When other forms of communication are challenging, physical touch can say so much. As my mother aged and the AD progressed I relied more and more on physical touch to communicate my love. I would gently stroke her cheek or the back of her hands. Very light touches, feathery whispers. I encouraged all Mom's caregivers to reassure her in this way. We were always rewarded with a beautiful smile of love. The sense of touch brought all of us comfort, as we continued to communicate. I was so very blessed to feel the warmth and love in my Mother's hands.
Touch is a universal language that most of us practice, but it is great to be validated. It is encouraging to know that we are on the right track. The article by Dawn Nelson - "The Power of Touch" in care ADvantage has lots of food for thought. In her article she used a phrase that reached out and spoke to my heart - "intentional touch". How frustrating and scary it must be to be experiencing communication challenges. How reassuring intentional touch must be to those we love the most.