How to Talk with A Parent with Dementia

Memory Care Management

Getting along well with people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia can be challenging. As a result, it can be hard to understand what’s being said to one another. This can lead to misunderstandings and frustration. You’ll need patience and good listening skills to improve your communication. This course will teach you strategies to improve both of these aspects. Although there are many tips and tricks that can help you and your loved one with dementia, it is not always helpful to everyone. To improve communication, try these ten simple yet effective tips.

Make sure that you’re in a good place to talk. Having a calm and quiet environment can help people with dementia concentrate on the conversation. Also, avoid distractions such as the TV or radio. Try to use this time to talk to the person a bit more clearly so that they can answer any questions or concerns you have. Also, try to make the most of these days and find ways to adapt to the challenges that come with being with a person with dementia. Before you start, be sure that the other needs of the person are met.

Limit Outside Stimulation

When communicating with someone with dementia, be sure to limit the number of distractions that may be present. Try to find a quiet and comfortable place to talk with a person with dementia. If possible, turn off the TV and music playing in your home. Also, if you’re in a busy store or café, find a quiet corner. Even simple distractions like these can make it hard for people with Alzheimer’s to talk to one another.

Stay Focused on Short Sentences

If the message is too complex, try repeating the same words and sentences several times to help the patient or loved one understand. Keep the questions brief and clear, and use the “yes” or “no” option if the patient or loved one has multiple options. Also, limit the number of instructions that the patient or loved one receives at a time. Being able to communicate effectively with a loved one suffering from memory issues is very important. Ask a prompt if the patient is struggling to find a word. Also, make sure to be open to listening.

Be Mindful of Tone

Even though people with memory loss have limited language skills, they can still communicate with others. They can still understand the tone of language. They can also distinguish between harsh and loving tones. This is because the person with memory loss can also catch the social differences between the way people speak and what they are saying.

Don’t Talk Down to Them

Family members and caregivers should never talk to people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, especially baby talk, as it can be very insulting. Also, it doesn’t help the patient communicate effectively. Having a good communication style with an older adult is also important.

Be Sure To Avoid Correcting Them

Memory loss is often a sign that people with this condition are struggling with their language. The first sign that this is happening is that they can’t find the right words to describe something. For instance, they may be telling you about a letter that they received, but they can’t find the word “envelope” or “light” out. Language becomes so disfluent that it’s hard for them to find the right word to express their ideas.

People with Alzheimer’s or dementia may ask repetitive questions. This usually expresses their concern, and they will often repeat the same question in an attempt to get the attention of the other person. Individuals with this condition often forget that they asked the same question, and their concerns will not go away. This is when it’s important to not correct them or get frustrated with them asking the same question repeatedly. It’s the responsibility of the caregiver or family member to help ease the worry of the patient or loved one. The goal is to make the situation go away, so the question can be asked again. Be sure to maintain composure and patience as you work with your loved one. 

Conclusion and Keeping it Positive

For people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may remember things from the past. They may also be able to recall places and people they used to visit. Ask them to share their favorite childhood stories with their loved ones. Family members may also be surprised to learn new things. Even though a loved one or patient is losing their memory, they still have feelings and emotions. Having a good laugh can help boost a person’s mood and prevent them from feeling depressed. Communicating with a loved one or patient with memory loss can be challenging, especially when there are barriers that prevent people from reaching out. Fortunately, there are multiple techniques that can help caregivers overcome these obstacles.