Learn How To Effectively Communicate With Seniors requiring Dementia Care With Your Alexandria, VA Comfort Keepers®
If you have a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, learning how to effectively communicate with them through every stage of the disease is of the utmost importance to exceptional dementia care. This is because seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias have difficulty remembering things. They may struggle to find the right words or even (in later stages) forget what they’re talking about during a conversation.
While this is potentially frustrating for caregivers or family members, it is important to be patient and remember that seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often frustrated as well. Always treat them with dignity and respect, and never as if they are a child. Let your loved one know that it’s okay and encourage them to continue to explain the way they feel.
Give us a call at (855) 335-3155 to learn more!
What Communication Difficulties Will My Loved One Experience?
There are three different stages a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease will go through:
Mild: This is the early stage where your loved one will still be able to actively participate in dialogue and participate in social activities. They may, however, have difficulty finding the right words, may repeat the same stories, or get overwhelmed by verbal stimulation.
Moderate: This middle stage is the longest and can last for many years. Seniors in this stage will have a progressively harder time communicating and will require more direct care.
Severe: The late stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can last several weeks to several years. Seniors in this stage may rely on nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions or vocal sounds. Around the clock care is usually required in this stage.
Simple Ways To Improve Communication With Your Loved One
People with dementia and Alzheimer’s can often have as much difficulty understanding others as they do expressing their own thoughts and emotions. With that in mind, here are some tips you can use to help both yourself and your loved one be more successful at communicating:
Before You Speak
Minimize distractions. Get rid of background noise, such as TV, radio, or other people's conversations.
Match your body language with your words. Make sure that your body language and facial expressions convey what you are saying.
Use physical contact. Show that you care by holding or patting the person's hand or putting your arm around him or her.
How To Speak
Speak at a slightly slower pace. Allow time between sentences for the person to process the information and to respond.
Repeat information or questions as needed. If the person doesn't respond, wait a moment. Then ask again.
What To Say
Try not to ask the person to make complicated decisions. Give them a choice. Too many options can be confusing and frustrating.
Avoid criticizing or correcting. Don't say he or she is incorrect. Instead, try to find the meaning in what is being said, and encourage him or her to communicate their thoughts.
How to Listen
Listen carefully to what the person is saying.
Be patient and supportive. The person may need extra time to process what you said. Let the person know you're listening and trying to understand.
If you’d like to learn more about Comfort Keepers®, our around the clock dementia care services for seniors, or if you’d like to schedule your free care consultation, please contact us online anytime or call us at (855) 335-3155.