When a loved one has dementia, learning a new way to communicate with him or her can be difficult. Fortunately, with a little effort, you can still maintain a special connection with your loved one, even as his or her memory fails. Often, your in-home elder care provider can offer advice based on his or her experience working with people with dementia in Memphis . These tips will also help.
Set the Tone
You can have more productive communication with a loved one with dementia if you choose the right time and place. Make sure there are no distractions, such as TV or radio, when you begin a conversation. Sit close to your loved one and position yourself so that you are facing him or her directly. The lighting should be adequate so that your face can clearly be seen. Keep your body language relaxed, even if you feel nervous and frustrated. It is more useful to begin conversations when your loved one’s needs have been adequately satisfied, so ask his or her elder care provider when your loved one has last eaten and when he or she usually sleeps.
Keep it Simple
Dementia can make following multi-layered conversations difficult, so keep things simple to avoid frustration. Stick to one topic. It can even be helpful to choose a topic in advance and plan some of the things you would like to say. Your sentences should be short, and you should choose simple words. Don’t talk to your loved one as though he or she is a child. Address him or her in a normal tone of voice and be respectful. Dementia can be isolating, and your loved one may feel like he or she is no longer valued.
Be a Good Listener
Your loved one with dementia will still have many ideas he or she wants to express, so be sure to be a good listener. If you aren’t sure you have understood, repeat the point back to verify it. Pay close attention to your loved one’s body language. As dementia affects your loved one’s ability to speak, his or her body language will be a central part of how he or she communicates. Always let your loved one express his or her feelings without dismissing them.