Alzheimer's & Dementia

How to Talk to a Loved One or Patient with Dementia

Watching a senior loved one with dementia struggle to communicate or have a conversation can be a difficult thing. This can also be a frustrating time for your senior themselves, since unfortunately, dementia affects their ability to think, focus, understand, and respond during conversations. But there is a way you can better communicate with them. The key to good conversations with your senior often lies in the preparation. Read through our advice below and learn how you can set your senior up for success.
Be Prepared
The first action you take should be getting prepared for the talk. You will want to be in a calm and relaxed headspace, and your attitude should be pleasant. Your actions, likewise, should be sincere. Remind yourself to be patient and spend all the time necessary with your senior.
Set the Environment
Successful conversation for your senior may also be dependent on their environment. You want that to be calm as well, so eliminate any distractions like background noise and bold patterns. Stay in a well-lit space to make it easier for your senior to focus on you and keep their attention.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
It is always good to remember that your senior is likely struggling to both comprehend and focus on the conversation. So, when you speak, make sure you are slow, clear, and doing your best to enunciate your words. Give your senior time to process each sentence before changing topics, and use specific names when referring to people, places, and things. Rephrasing questions rather than repeating them can help your senior understand better the second time around.
Be Aware of Your Non-Verbal Actions
Non-verbal actions and your body language are just as essential for success and your physical speech. You can use small actions to your benefit, like making gentle eye contact or giving a friendly smile. These can help your senior feel relaxed and help them respond better.
Home Care Assistance of Dayton recognizes and understands the challenges that can accompany caring for a senior loved one with dementia. That’s why our expert caregivers are standing by 24/7 to assist you and your family. Please give us a call at (937) 353-1412 and schedule a consultation for more information about our dementia care services or how to better communicate with your senior.

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