The Five Love Languages and Dementia

Stan and Bonnie at Kate's Memory Cafe, exploring 5 Love Languages and Dementia

Exploring The Five Love Languages

At our February gathering of Kate’s Memory Café we explored themes from the book The Five Love Languages- How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman. In Chapman’s book he describes the 5 Love Languages as:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch
Highlighting from the book for a discussion point, we reviewed the following:
1. Words of Affirmation
“The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love. It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate.”
2. Quality Time
“A central aspect of quality time is togetherness. I do not mean proximity. Togetherness has to do with focused attention.”
3. Receiving Gifts
“Physical presence in the time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give if your spouse’s primary love language is receiving gifts.”
4. Acts of Service
“Requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love. What we do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage.”
5. Physical Touch
“Physical touch can make or break a relationship. It can communicate hate or love. “
After some discussion of these topics the participants of the Memory Café were given the following questions for personal reflection, considering that the Love Languages in your relationship now that Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is present:

Things to remember, you each have a primary love language – this is how you respond best in the receiving. Remember, yours may not be the same as your mate. What is/was your mate’s love language?

 

Over time you and your mate have created a rhythm to your language…..a give and take. What did that look like?

 

Now that this disease has entered (or encroached on) the relationship, how has the dynamic of your love language changed? What accommodations have you made?

 

 

As the primary caregiver, how will you take care of your needs for love in the places where your mate may no longer be able to participate?

 

If you would like to explore this topic further here is a link to purchase this book on Amazon. You will also see other variations of this book.