How To Communicate Successfully With Your Loved One With Alzheimer’s?

Repeated conversations, forgetting words, and worse case scenario, not speaking at all can make you as a caregiver feel frustrated and sometimes helpless in supporting your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. A simple gathering of friends and family or dinner at your favorite restaurant can even be awkward or frustrating if your loved one can no longer communicate like they used to. The following suggestions may be useful to you as the caregiver and anyone who is interacting with your loved one.  Adopting new methods of communication will help everyone communicate more effectively and minimize the anxiety and frustration of the individual living with Alzheimer’s.

 

  • Be Patient.

    • If your loved one is taking longer than normal to finish a thought or constantly repeating the same thing, continue to show that you’re listening and understanding in a kind way. Try not to interrupt them and if you feel yourself getting frustrated, take some time for yourself and come back later.

  • Show Respect.

    • Never use baby talk with your loved one or talk about them like they are not present. Talk to them as adults.  Refrain from correcting them as it may only increase their frustration and anxiety.

  • Avoid Distractions

    • It is best to keep it simple. Use short questions and try to ask questions that require a yes or no. Also, sometimes it can be difficult to communicate with your loved one when there is a lot of background noise or sights. Get them to a place where they can pay attention to you.

  • Offer Comfort

    • Alzheimer’s patients can often feel embarrassed or ashamed when trying to communicate causing you more difficulties in understanding. Reassure your loved one when they are having trouble communicating that it’s okay. Let them finish their thought with your encouragement.

  • Use Visual Clues

    • Sometimes if verbal communication won’t work try pointing or directing your love one. For example, instead of asking the person living with Alzheimer’s disease if they have to use the bathroom. Take them to the bathroom and point to the toilet.

 

If you remember these keys about communicating with your loved one. Your communications will get easier.

 

 

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