Thursday, September 21, 2023

5 Tips for Communicating with a Person with Dementia

Families and caregivers face numerous difficulties while caring for a loved one with dementia. People who have dementia caused by illnesses like Alzheimer’s and other associated ailments have a gradual biological brain problem that makes it harder for them to recall things, think clearly, communicate effectively, and take care of themselves. Dementia Falls Church can also alter your behavior and personality and cause mood swings.

Although it is not a skill we are born with, we may learn how to communicate with someone with dementia. It will be less stressful to provide care if you have better communication skills, and your connection with the person you care for will probably be better.

Here are tips for communicating with a person with dementia;

1. Grab the patient’s attention

Reduce noise and distractions by turning off the TV or radio, drawing the curtains, locking the door, or moving to a more peaceful location. Before speaking, make sure you have their full attention. Call them by name, introduce yourself and your relationship, and utilize touch and nonverbal clues to keep them attentive. Get on their level if they are seated, and maintain eye contact.

2. Make your point clear

Make your sentences and words simple. Speak in a soothing voice, clearly, and slowly. Instead of speaking with a louder or higher voice, use a lower tone. Use the same language to reiterate your message or query if they don’t comprehend it the first time. Pause a few minutes and repeat yourself if they still do not understand. Instead of using pronouns (he, she, or they) or acronyms, use the names of persons and locations.

3. React with love and reassurance

Dementia patients frequently experience confusion, anxiety, and self-doubt. Additionally, they often mistake reality and may remember events that never actually happened. Do not attempt to persuade them that they are incorrect. Keep your attention on the sentiments they are displaying—which are real—and respond by expressing compassion, love, and reassurance both verbally and physically. When all else fails, holding hands, caressing, hugging, and praising the person may be enough to elicit a response.

4. Remind them of the good old days

It is frequently comforting and encouraging to reminisce about past events. Many people living with dementia may remember their life 45 years ago with great clarity, even though they may not be able to recollect what happened 45 minutes ago. As a result, please refrain from asking the subject questions that rely on short-term memory, such as what they had for lunch. Instead, attempt generic inquiries about the person’s distant history; information from these inquiries is more likely to be remembered.

5. Break down activities into several steps

You may assist your loved one with tasks they can no longer complete on his own, gently remind him of steps they tend to forget and encourage them to do what they can. It may be beneficial to provide visual signals, like showing him where to put the meal dish with your hand.

Effective communication skills can also help you deal with any challenging behavior that may arise when caring for a loved one with dementia.  Call Integrated Neurology Services to book your appointment for dementia treatment.

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