Helpful Tips for Communicating with a Loved One with Dementia

 Helpful Tips for Communicating with a Loved One with Dementia

When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it is not only your family member or close friend who is confronted with a host of conflicting and often genuinely traumatic emotions, but also everyone close to them.

Acceptance of the state of things is, of course, an ongoing process, but one thing is for sure: the better your communication with your parent, the stronger your bond will remain and, crucially, the more power you will have to make them feel at ease and comfortable in your company.

Cultivate the Right Environment

Regardless of the stage in which your loved one is in, in terms of the progression of the disease, it is essential to start as you mean to go on and never shy away from regular conversation, even if you find them to be sometimes unresponsive.

You should do everything you can to cultivate the right environment, whether it is a short chat while cooking dinner or an hour-long visit in a care home, and the following tips will help:

  • Maintain a regular routine when visiting your loved one if they do not live with you
  • Avoid noises, such as the radio and television, in the room
  • Ensure every loved one knows to minimize distractions as much as possible
  • Always stay still, ideally on the same eye line, while conversing and maintain neutral body language

Understand How Communication May Change Over Time

Naturally, every individual’s dementia can and will affect them in different ways and, as a result, whereas one person may be able to keep a handle on key phrases and words for a prolonged amount of time, others may quickly start to make less sense when they speak.

In the vast majority of dementia cases, initially, their communication is usually affected by being unable to recall certain words and starting not to be able to read as quickly or as accurately as before.

As communication begins to break down, you may then start to notice that your loved one becomes more and more reluctant to be able to write down how they feel, or even write a simple shopping list, and may become unable to accurately express their emotions.

Time, Patience & Care

The dedicated staff at high-end care homes spend much of their time with residents working to keep them mentally as well as physically engaged, and they are fully versed in encouraging conversation.

If you or your parent are looking into different living options and are interested in learning more about how care homes work, then do not hesitate to contact Eastleigh Care Homes.

Even though this may sound obvious, for people who are close to a person with dementia, even though they love them more than they could possibly express, they can often become frustrated, especially as the disease progresses.

Always be patient with your loved one, and never, under any circumstances, raise your voice.

Danny White