Whether you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or you are a caregiver looking after a patient, it can be challenging to care for someone with memory loss. While Alzheimer’s Disease has varying stages, many patients start to find themselves losing train of thought, have difficulty finding the right words, and even start to speak less often. We’re sharing some tips to help you engage with people with Alzheimer’s disease and minimize communication challenges.
It’s easy for people with Alzheimer’s to get overwhelmed and confused. To reduce this, talk slowly and clearly while making eye-contact with the patient. If possible, try to minimize distractions and background noise such as pausing music or the TV while speaking.
It can take a bit more time for people with Alzheimer’s to process what they are hearing and how they want to respond. Be patient in waiting for their response and offer reassurance. Don’t interrupt them but instead encourage them to take their time in responding. Be Clear Rather than asking open-ended questions, ask questions with direct or yes and no answers. For example, rather than asking what do you want to do today? Ask, would you rather go for a walk or start a puzzle? This helps the patient to be less overwhelmed and easily answer.
When possible, always approach a person with Alzheimer’s disease from the front, rather than from the side or behind. Try making eye contact, smiling, and matching the person’s mood when appropriate. While the challenges of communicating with someone suffering from memory loss are always evolving, we hope these tips help to ease frustrations and improve communication. Remember to be patient and don’t hesitate to get help if needed.
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New Horizons In-Home Care