How To Communicate with Someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Did you know that over 6 million people live with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States?
Alzheimer’s and dementia are diseases that have a major effect on a person’s short-term memory. These diseases make it difficult for people to think clearly, hold conversations, and take care of themselves. This is why many receive in-home care to help them with everyday tasks.
At times it can be incredibly difficult to communicate with someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, there are a few things that you can do to communicate more effectively with them.
Read this quick guide for a few helpful tips.
How Alzheimer’s and Dementia Affect the Brain
Both Alzheimer’s and dementia have a serious impact on a person’s brain. Alzheimer’s disease causes the brain to shrink while dementia can make you lose cognitive function. This makes short-term memories almost impossible to recall.
The Best Communication Tips
There are a few communication tips that you can use when talking to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Here’s a quick look at these basic tips.
Focus on Long-Term Memories
As mentioned above, these diseases make short-term memories almost impossible to recall. This is why holding a conversation is so difficult. Focusing on long-term memories can help bypass this so that you can have a conversation with them.
Embrace Non-Verbal Communication
Sometimes the most effective form of communication is non-verbal communication. A smile, friendly and welcoming body language, and eye contact are extremely important when talking to people with short-term memory disorders. In this way, you can communicate without making them feel irritated or confused.
Pay Attention to the Tone
While your words may be confusing, your tone is always clear. This is why it’s so important to pay attention to your tone when talking to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s important to never talk down to them or use harsh language.
This can cause confusion, irritation, and more frustration.
The best way to communicate is with short sentences. This is because shorter sentences are easier for everyone to follow and understand. Short sentences get straight to the point and don’t require as much cognitive focus to keep up with.
Don’t Correct Them
When talking to people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s important to talk in an encouraging, directional way. This means that you should avoid correcting them or saying no. Correcting them all the time can get frustrating for them and will end up making the entire process much longer.
How to Speak to Someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
It’s incredibly difficult to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The disease has a major impact on your cognitive abilities, which is why so many require home care services. However, utilizing these tips can make communication easier.
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