Tips for Communicating with Elderly Parents Who Have Dementia

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Having difficulty finding the correct words and being unable to say phrases without repeating them are common among seniors with dementia, but communication can remain effective if you follow the tips outlined below. The key is to develop sustainable methods for your senior loved one to use. Regardless of the situation, always remain calm, avoid raising your voice, and stay positive. Doing so could stave off confusion and boost communication between you and your loved one.

Be Patient

Losing his or her train of thought and facing difficulty organizing words and statements will increase as dementia worsens and your loved one’s verbal skills decrease. Being agitated could increase your loved one’s frustration levels, causing him or her to react negatively. Therefore, it’s vital to remain calm when speaking, even if the situation is challenging. Walking around the home or going outside for fresh air can help if moments become too tense. Once you regain your sense of calm, you can return to the conversation. Your patience will give your loved one time to sort his or her thoughts and phrases, preventing negative feelings such as irritation, low self-esteem, and anger. 

Living with dementia can make it difficult for seniors to manage everyday tasks on their own. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior home care. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years.

 

Speak Clearly

Following regular conversations can be difficult for seniors with dementia due to how the condition affects their brains, making it challenging to correctly associate words with actions or people with specific situations. Therefore, speaking clearly is crucial. Always take your time when talking, ensuring your loved one can hear your words and understand their meaning. Doing so could lower the odds of adverse reactions and lead to better communication. 

Trained caregivers who have experience in communicating with seniors with dementia can be a fantastic resource for family members. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of Home Care Pearland, TX, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Maintain Eye Contact

As dementia progresses, it will be challenging for your loved one to remember certain people and places, and he or she may have difficulty understanding the meaning of various words. However, keep communication flowing effectively by making eye contact. For example, if you want your loved one to explain his or her feelings, looking him or her in the eyes could ease the situation and make the conversation enjoyable. Eye contact can show you care about the conversation and want to be attentive. The nonverbal expressions your parent makes could be a great indicator of how he or she feels or what he or she understands. Always approach your loved one from the front, avoid startling him or her, and keep your face at his or her eye level.

 

Find Quiet Spaces

Taking on conversations in areas with distractions can lead to poor communication for an elderly person with dementia. However, finding a friendly, quiet space to talk generally makes the conversation flow better. If your loved one is listening to you while a television or radio is blasting in the background or someone is preparing food and drinks in the kitchen, he or she will focus on those distractions instead of hearing your words. As a result, this could cause irritation and other negative emotions for both of you and lead to an unresolved situation. 

Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is at-home care Pearland families can rely on. Professional caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at 281-809-7342 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.