Core of Coaching to Calm for Individuals Facing Dementia

*Music connections while talking, moving, reading (based on the work of Stephen Porges' social engagement theories)

*Touch connections using creams on hands and arms (to stimulate and soothe a calm body)

*Sound and sight connections using book-reading (addresses memory recall from long-term memory)

*Using movement with the music with hand manipulatives, walking, dancing with the arms

*Engaging in social conversation to keep the eye contact and smiles going

*Use of drawing materials from pastels, to markers to kinetic sand in order to elicit touch and creativity (when the client is able to manage this)

*Breathing strategies to slow down breath and encourage a calm body

Brain science shows that our inner world is essentially managed by our body sensations, the images we see, the feelings we have and the thoughts we produce. Many people with a dementia diagnosis are no longer able to communicate these same sensations, images, feelings and thoughts to a caring adult. Coaching to Calm, as a program, allows the individual some new ways to communicate through music, movement, art and breathing. 

Barb Dorrington

Social Worker , art therapist and trauma counsellor