Most of us at sometime have picked a closed book which has taken our interest. We look at the cover which may show a picture or scene. Even the title tells us something .All in all we get a good idea of what it is about.
But what about Parkinsonians, take them as a book and you have a different story or rather no story at all. Communication is a two way processs. It consists of give and take information and feed back. It is strange, therefore, to be faced with a person with whom we are trying to communicate, who responds with a blank look, very little body language and slow replies or none at all. Others feel that Parkinsonians are rather dull and not very interesting. Some feel there is no point in continuing the conversation and may well simply walk away.
It is very important that persons trying to communicate with a parkinsonian keeps in mind that the problems are not always constant. Parkinson disease is slow and progressive but it is also fluctuation and not the same for every body. On any given day the physical capabilities of a Parkinsonian can change dramatically depending on their drug levels. So more effort and persistence are needed at some time or the other.
What can we do to make things better for Parkinsonians when their communication skills are down?. We must take time to wait for them to get over to us, their needs and wants.
Hard as it is, we must try not to mirror their expressions. We must try to be aware of what is happening keeping in mind that their mask and their lack of body language is not in response to us. So it is an ongoing problem one which will not go away. Hopefully the more we understand about the makeup of a Parkinsonian the better we will communicate with them, removing the unnecessary isolation and rejection so many of them experience in their every day lives.