40 Requests of Family, Friends, and Care Team (Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD)

Here’s another list of requests that those with neurological
conditions may have of their family, friends, and care team.

This list of 40 items was written by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, and is
part of her book titled “My Stroke of Insight.”  I highly recommend the book, if you haven’t read it before.  Or there is a good online video of Dr. Taylor giving a TED Talk.

I don’t think all 40 items will apply to those with PSP, DLB, MSA, or CBD.  For example, Dr. Taylor’s #17 is “Ask me multiple-choice
questions. Avoid Yes/No questions.”  Initially the maximum number of choices my father (PSP confirmed upon brain donation) could handle was two.  Later, he could only tolerate yes/no questions.  Later, when he could no longer respond, we’d tell him what choice we were making on his behalf,and said we thought it was the choice he would make.

Below, I’ve listed a few of Dr. Bolte Taylor’s 40 requests.


Excerpts from

“My Stroke of Insight”
by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD

1. I am not stupid, I am wounded. Please respect me.

2. Come close, speak slowly, and enunciate clearly.

3. Repeat yourself—assume I know nothing and start from the beginning, over and over.

4. Be as patient with me the 20th time you teach me something, as you were the first.

5. Approach me with an open heart and slow your energy down. Take your time.

6. Be aware of what your body language and facial expressions are
communicating to me.

7. Make eye contact with me. I am in here—come find me. Encourage me.

8. Please don’t raise your voice—I’m not deaf, I’m wounded.

9. Touch me appropriately and connect with me.

10. Honor the healing power of sleep.

11. Protect my energy. No talk radio, TV, or nervous visitors! Keep
visitation brief (five minutes).

12. Stimulate my brain when I have any energy to learn something new, but know that a small amount may wear me out quickly.