Learning to communicate with a family member or a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia and cognitive impairments, can many times be an incredibly daunting task. Nevertheless, it is crucial to communicate with that specific person and connect with them as best as possible. As these diseases progress, persons may be affected differently with obstacles to traditional communication. Expressive and receptive aphasia (the ability to perceive and invent language), is the most frequent communication barrier experienced by persons experiencing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s. Here are some helpful hints and strategies to better keep in touch with persons afflicted by Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive impairment.
First, attempt to put yourself in their place. How does your loved one experience reality? Prevent contradiction about that perceived reality, as it is going to simply add confusion. In reality, validation of their understanding is frequently the very most helpful technique for improving communication at an initial level.
Engage the person in reminiscing about experiences that will continue to be simple to recall. Have patience with your loved one’s limited capability to communicate, and permit them to discover their very own way of expressing themselves. Don’t fill in the words for them, as it regularly can confuse or frustrate the person seeking for the correct words. Find opportunities for redirection when conversation becomes frustrating for your loved one. Use visual cues when interacting with them, especially if it includes reminiscing about previous encounters.
Strive to proactively anticipate the demented individual’s demands so they aren’t in need of something they cannot express (bath-rooming, eating, sleeping, etc). Get the individual on a schedule, in order to better anticipate their needs. Stay busy, and involved.
Frequently, in the later phases of Alzheimer’s disease individuals can become unsettled, agitated, and sometimes aggressive in particular situations. While contradiction of their experiences leads to confusion and agitation, quite often talking too loudly or too quickly can cause confusion and anxiety. Closely examine your own interactions and the way they might be affecting your loved one and possibly contributing to their agitation. If agitation lasts and hostile behavior emerges, use techniques such as redirection and private interactions to effect change within the person without contradiction or correction.
In any case, it is imperative to be patient and in order to best find the methods to efficiently keep in touch with them and engage your loved one on an individual level. Please contact Centennial Adultcare Center (615)383-3399 for more information on how best to communicate to the one you love. We have more than 29 years of experience in communicating and providing care for persons with a wide variety of dementia’s and other cognitive and physical impairments, and we are happy to help in any way!