We used to have a patient with a “trach.” The new case manager was annoyed that our patient refused to use the pen and paper he gave her to “talk” to him. He didn’t realize our patient was illiterate.
A new nursing home resident didn’t appear to speak English. A staff gave him a communication board filled with some simple and “universal” images. The resident pressed every button on the board and giggled. He had dementia and didn’t know what the board was for.
Human communication is one way to enhance understanding. But without sufficient understanding of the individual and a mutual desire to “connect,” even the fanciest “tool” will not be able to facilitate communication.