Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can have a hard impact on family members. It can possess many challenges for families and caregivers.
We can learn how to communicate with a person with dementia and by improving your communication skills it will make giving care less stressful and will improve the quality of your relationship with your loved one. Dealing with a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia takes a great deal of patience.
Some tips for communicating with a person with Dementia
- Be positive – your attitude and your body language will show your feelings and thoughts more than your actual words do. Your tone of voice, facial expressions and physical touch will help convey your message and show your feelings of affection.
- Turn off any distractions to ensure you have the full attention of the person. Address them by name and use plenty of eye contact.
- Pitch your voice lower and use simple words and sentences.
- Ask simple questions.
- Be patient when waiting for your loved ones reply. If they appear to be struggling for an answer, it is fine to suggest some words for them.
- If they become upset or agitated, try and change the subject. Suggest maybe going for a walk. It is important to connect with their feelings and you could say something such as, ‘I see you’re feeling sad, why don’t we go for a walk, or let’s get something to eat’.
- Try reminiscing. A person with dementia may not remember what they did yesterday or had for lunch that day, but they will recall long distant memories from the past much more easily.
- Use your sense of humour whenever possible. People with dementia will love to laugh along with you.