Do you have family members with Alzheimer’s disease? Have you tried communicating with them and ended up frustrated instead? Are you discouraged by their lack of response? Did you get stuck due to a lack of topic? Do you have a hard time engaging them in conversation?
Communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s disease may seem hopeless, however, it isn’t entirely impossible. It can certainly be challenging but here are some helpful suggestions from Quest Home Care, a provider of non-medical home care in Fairfield County:
Limit distractions. People with Alzheimer’s disease may become easily distracted. To get their attention, make sure to limit distractions. As much as possible, talk to them in a quiet room away from noisy family members, TV, or radios.
Ask simple questions. Ask simple, “yes” or “no” questions. As much as possible, avoid giving them too many choices or asking open-ended questions since this can lead to confusion. Also, it would be better to show them their choices – the visual cue can be a great help for them. Oftentimes, visual cues or gestures can encourage better understanding compared to your words alone.
Give them time. Were your loved ones once articulate and conversant individuals? You may be used to fast replies from them and end up frustrated when their response time slows down. However, please be patient and give them time to respond. Remember, Alzheimer’s disease can affect their cognitive functions, making communication difficult. Give them time – don’t interrupt them and let them know that you are willing to wait.
Offer reassurance. People with Alzheimer’s often feel anxious, unsure, and confused. They may feel lost, recall things that didn’t really happen, forget the time, and they may get reality confused. When these things happen, avoid trying to convince them that they are wrong – this can often lead to confrontation and arguments. Instead, stay calm and ask them what they are feeling confused about. Listen to them closely and try to provide the information that they need.
Respect them. While the use of simple sentences and words are encouraged when talking to someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you shouldn’t use “baby talk”. Don’t be condescending. Also, don’t assume that they can’t understand you and don’t talk like they aren’t there. Show them the respect that they deserve.
Hopefully, these suggestions can help you communicate effectively with your loved ones. You may still face challenges and obstacles but you must be patient. Remember that they aren’t ignoring you or forgetting things on purpose – it’s the disease, not the person.
For more tips, or if you are looking for the best compassionate care in Shelton CT, please contact us at 203-929-2273. We look forward to helping you and your loved ones soon.