Gibbs Reflective Assignment on Non-Verbal Communication with a Patient with Demenita

This assignment is a reflective account of my first experience when assisting a patient to eat lunch. For the purpose of this assignment I will refer to this patient as Mrs C to maintain confidentiality and comply with the NMC code (2008). It will discuss the importance of non-verbal communication when providing effective nursing care to the elderly.
Thoughts and Feelings
I felt this first experience was very rewarding and a big learning curve for me in caring for others. I was delighted that I had been able to support Mrs C to eat nearly all of her meal which she clearly enjoyed. The ‘protected mealtime’ policy ensured that I had time to dedicate to assist her and as she did not have the ability to feed herself, without my help she would have eaten very little or nothing at all.
In order to communicate with Mrs C, I modified the usual rules of communication. I did not speak to Mrs C in an inappropriate way or use elder talk which may have damaged her self esteem and confidence (Argle 1994). I talked to her as I would address any adult but put more emphasis on non-verbal communication which according to Caris Verhallen (1999) is the main way in which humans communicate, in order for her to receive my message, extract the meaning and give me feedback.
By holding Mrs C’ gaze I was maintaining communication and encouraging engagement and interaction (Argyle 1996). By nodding her head, maintaining eye contact and opening her mouth Mrs C showed me that she understood that I wanted to assist her with her meal and gave me permission to feed her. In order to assist Mrs C with her lunch I had to invade her personal space, I used touch to communicate and help her relax, feel safe, reassure and offer warmth and togetherness in a setting which is not natural (Spouse et al 2008)
As the receiver of my message Mrs C showed me that she had received by message, understood the meaning of it andgave me good feed back by...