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Caregiver Tips: For Family Caregivers: Improving Communication with a Loved One with Dementia

Caregiver Tips: Improving Communication

Caregiver Tips: Communication can be tough under the best of circumstances.

However, when you’re trying to communicate with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or memory loss, it can be an even bigger challenge. Fortunately, there are things that you can do with these caregiver tips to make communication smoother and easier with a senior with dementia.

 

Set up for Success

The first thing to do is to set conversations up to succeed.

  • Sit at their level, maintain eye contact and be sure they can see your face.
  • If they need hearing aids, be sure they are worn and charged.
  • Reduce distractions in the background. Turn off the television and music. Find an area away from people or activity.
  • Allow plenty of time for the person to express themselves.
  • Ask the person how you can best help or support them.
  • It may be easier for the person to understand what or who you are talking about if you have pictures handy to look at together.

 

Simplify Where Possible

It may take longer for the person’s brain to process what you are saying. Allow plenty of time for them to respond.

  • Don’t talk too much. Use fewer words, and become comfortable sitting together in silence, simply sharing your presence.
  • Maintain a natural rhythm of speech.
  • Break down questions and tasks into single steps.

 

Communicate with Respect

It’s important to treat the person with genuine respect. Even though it might be necessary to simplify your language or topics a bit, it’s important that you don’t talk down to them or treat them like a child.

  • Don’t interrupt or make them feel rushed.
  • Don’t fill in their words, unless they are getting frustrated or are asking for help.
  • Don’t make them feel you’re telling them what to do.
  • Connect with sincerity and respect at all times.

 

Lighten the Mood

People with dementia can pick up on how you’re feeling and often start feeling the same way. If the person with memory loss is very upset about something, it’s important to help them feel you are taking their concerns seriously, and not dismissing them. Otherwise, try to keep the mood light and always be ready to go with the flow.

  • Sing and laugh together often.
  • Get out into nature whenever possible.
  • Smile often.
  • Keep a healthy perspective and your heart light.

 

Caregiver Tips: Elderly Care Can Help

Successful communication with a person with dementia takes patience and understanding. Honestly, it can be hard to stay patient when you are taking care of another person all the time, especially if you start to neglect your own needs.

Many family caregivers of seniors have developed smart strategies to handle everything on their plate. By ensuring that they are at their best, they can best help their loved ones with dementia. Reaching out for help is important – and elderly care agencies are available to help in many ways.

Elderly care aides can take over the most challenging tasks – perhaps showers, or getting ready for the day, or into bed. They can lighten your load by helping with housework, laundry, and errands. They can even involve your loved one with dementia in helping with these types of tasks so that they feel better and sleep better – maybe even function better.

Elderly care agencies train their aides in how to communicate with seniors with dementia. Talk to the agency to see how they can best support you to take the best possible care of your loved one. Using the caregiver tips above will help to ensure you and you’re senior communicate better.

 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering hiring  Home Health Care in Bartlett, IL, please contact the caring staff at A Mishle Group Services, Inc. today. (630) 888-6644

 

Sources

Communication
Meaningful activities for a person with dementia while in isolation.

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