Finding a therapist for someone with communication problems

Hi there,

I’m currently caring for my father, who has Lewy Bodies Dementia and Parkinson’s. He’s only 60 years old and his condition deteriorated significantly last year, which resulted in me having to move him into full time nursing care.

He’s now wheelchair bound, doubly incontinent, he’s lost capacity and can barely talk because his voice is so weak. He also suffers from disturbing hallucinations and his short-term memory/grasp on reality is very poor.

Although his condition has improved somewhat since moving to the home, which is brilliant and we’re extremely lucky that he’s publicly funded; he had a very negative experience at the beginning of last year when he had a short stay in respite care.

He was badly mistreated and we still do not know the full extent of what happened because the home fired every single staff member who had been there during his stay. They’re also withholding their nursing records. (For info, the home was Wimbledon Beaumont, part of the Barchester Group - so please avoid this home if you’re considering it for your loved one.)

He still gets flashbacks, dreams and hallucinations about what happened there, which he finds very distressing - he also confuses these memories and thinks that the abuse is still happening. I would like to find a therapist for him, but I don’t know whether this will be possible because his ability to speak and express himself is so fleeting. Does anyone know a counselling/therapy service for people who struggle with communication?

Thank you in advance for your help,


Hi Lily.

Plenty of articles around on an Internet search.

Best link wich maybe of assistance … The Alzheimers Society :


How talking therapies help someone with dementia and their carer.

Talking therapies offer someone living with dementia the opportunity to speak openly about their feelings, and can help them to adjust to and live with their condition more successfully. This will help their family and carers in many ways.

As for therapists :


What is the best way to find a therapist ?

Your GP is a good place to start if you are looking for a therapist. Talking therapies accessed through the NHS are usually free of charge.

Many of the talking therapies for depression and anxiety mentioned in this factsheet are now available through an NHS programme called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.

Your doctor can refer you to a local IAPT service where you will be assessed and offered support. This could include signposting to relevant activities, self-help materials or psychological therapies. Some IAPT services also now offer people the option to refer themselves without having to go through their GP.

GPs can often provide details of other local therapists and some GP surgeries have talking therapy services based in their practices. While talking therapies are becoming increasingly available, you may still find that there is a wait before you are seen.

Your GP or local social services department may also have information about local charities offering services.

Not much but … better than nothing ?

Thanks Chris - I’ve done quite a lot of Googling myself and unfortunately nothing seems to be suited to somebody who can’t really talk. They seem to be better suited to people whose dementia is at a milder stage.

I’ve had talking therapies myself (reliving therapy, CBT and general counselling) and they’re all very dependent on being able to talk through the issues.

I was just wondering if there were therapies out there with a different approach. But I’ll keep looking - don’t quite know what I’m looking for really! I’ve asked his home for some advice as well, so will report back if they offer any useful advice.


Always in the frame when it comes to us senior citizens … AGE UK :

Additional benefit of having an online assistant … worth a punt ?

It’s easy to find out what happened at the home. Make a “Subject Access Request” to the home. if they ignore the requirement to comply withing ?30 days, they are acting unlawfully, and you can take it up with the Information Commissioner.

Wimbledon Beaumont ?

Last CQC report … September 2018 ( Inspection August 2018 ) … 20 pages in .pdf format :

The words " Requires improvement " appear … frequently.

EMDR might help, or similar .
I had something once where a therapist kept tapping my knees while I thought back to a traumatic event. Somehow it did work and that particular event no longer bothers me. I don’t know what that type of therapy is called.
Maybe something that has a physical aspect like the above may help