Tips for Changes in Communication
Communication can be very complicated for people with Alzheimer’s and related dementias as well as their care partners. Communication difficulties can lead to everyone becoming agitated and anxious.
Language skills may be affected and this difficulty with speaking and interpreting the message can lead to great frustration. It is always important to remind yourself as a care partner that the changes in ability are caused by the condition.
To help make communication easier, you can:
• Try to connect with them versus correct them
• Respond to the emotion of their message first and try to reassure
• Speak calmly and clearly
• Be a good listener and let them know they are heard
• Allow the person to keep as much control in their life as possible
• Build quiet times into the day, along with activities
• Keep well-loved objects and photographs around the house to help the person feel more secure, and use these to distract
• Remind the person if they don’t remember, but try not to say, “Don’t you remember?”
• Go with the flow as much as you can. Dementia forces us to be in the moment.
For more strategies and tips for care partners, please contact our staff.