Communicating With Someone Who Has Dementia
Every year, more and more Canadians are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, more than 747,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Memory loss is the most common symptom associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. However, our in-home care providers at Qualicare want you to consider another problem associated with the disease—difficulties with communication.
How Communication Skills Are Impacted
If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, you might notice that he or she is having difficulty using words effectively. Fortunately, there are ways you can work together to communicate effectively and in a way that’s less frustrating for both of you.
First, make sure you always keep eye contact with your loved one when speaking and use his or her name.
When speaking to your loved one, make sure you remain aware of the words you are using and your tone of voice, as well as your body language. You want to make sure the sound of your voice and overall demeanor are pleasant for your loved one and not stand-offish.
Second, you want to try to get your loved one to communicate with you as much as possible. If he or she gets to the point of frustration trying to communicate, try something else other than talking, like gentle touching.
You might even want to try to hold your loved one’s hand while you talk to ensure him or her that you are involved and trying to understand. But this doesn’t mean to use a “baby voice,” since that can seem like you’re talking down to your loved one and be frustrating emotionally for him or her.
When talking to your loved one, treat him or her as you always would. Just bring extra patience and understanding when he or she has an outburst. Remember, your loved one is just like you and not used to having these issues.
At Qualicare, our in-home care providers understand the difficulties and daily struggles associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Visit our website today to learn how we can help care for your loved one with dementia.