MAINTAINING COMMUNICATION WITH A LOVED ONE WITH MEMORY LOSS
Communication is an integral part of the human experience. It is vital for quality of life and for maintaining self-identity, yet it’s not uncommon for individuals to experience communication deficits as they grow older, especially when memory loss is an issue. Senior in-home care services can help you meet your loved one’s basic needs, allowing you to focus on the quality of your visits with him or her. While visiting, try a few simple tricks to improve communication despite your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia.
Preparing to Communicate
It’s important to avoid letting stressors influence your communication with your loved one. Spend a few minutes taking deep breaths and calming down if something is troubling you. When you’re ready, make sure your loved one is focusing on you. You may need to eliminate distractions, such as by turning off the radio or television. Make eye contact with your loved one before you speak.
It’s best to use short, simple sentences and to avoid any sort of complexity. If you’re asking questions, for example, ask only one question at a time. If you need to repeat your words, be sure to repeat the exact same words you previously used. Speak slowly and calmly, pausing briefly after each sentence to help your loved one process the information.
Give your loved one plenty of time to respond when you are finished speaking. Pay attention to non-verbal cues when trying to interpret speech, such as your loved one’s facial expression and body language. If your loved one says something that you know to be untrue, avoid contradicting him or her because this will only cause anxiety. Let your loved one express his or her feelings without trying to interject false humor or joviality into the conversation; it’s all right and even beneficial for your loved one to express sad feelings. Listening respectfully shows your loved one that you care.
Endeavor In-Home Senior Care is the leading provider of senior in-home care services for families in Mesa, AZ. In addition to our companion care, post-operative care, and hospice support services, our rigorously screened caregivers also provide specialized dementia and Alzheimer’s care. If your loved one could benefit from some extra help to maintain independence in his or her own home, call our senior in-home care agency at (877) 584-6162.