As your loved one’s condition progresses, you may find that verbal communication becomes more challenging. Dementia can affect an individual’s ability to communicate clearly, from finding the right words to getting confused about what’s going on around them.
In order to stay engaged with your loved one who has dementia, it’s essential to adapt your way of communicating to their needs. Read on to find out some tips regarding communication and dementia.
Be Patient and Encouraging
Instead of rushing your loved one to get their point across or speaking for them, be patient. Maintain eye contact with your loved one and hold their hand if they are comfortable with it. Gently encourage them to tell you what they want to say and pay attention to their nonverbal cues.
Rely on Visual Cues to Make Informed Guesses
If you have an idea of what your loved one wants but they are unable to articulate it, make use of visual cues to help you. For instance, you may mime the process of eating or point towards the bathroom. It will be easier for your loved one to nod or shake their head to your guess this way.
Instead of asking your loved one an open-ended question such as “What would you like to eat?”, ask them a simple question where they can decide between two options or offer a yes/no answer. For instance, you may ask, “Would you like to go for a walk in the park?” or “Would you prefer to take a shower now or after dinner?”
Always remember that your loved one can’t help the way they communicate as their condition progresses. As much as communication can frustrate you, imagine how much more frustrating it must be for them not being able to get their point across! Avoid criticizing your loved one and if they are having trouble communicating, gently let them know it’s okay instead of pushing them too hard.
Take a Break
Understandably, you may feel impatient and at the end of your rope sometimes. When that’s the case, take a break and let your emotions run down before returning to your loved one and trying again. Instead of taking it out on them, this will help to avoid an unpleasant scene from unfolding, in particular because your loved one can get very distressed as a result.
Consider Memory Care at Discovery Village At Tampa Palms as an Option
If you are looking for long-term care options for a loved one with dementia, consider our memory care community at Discovery Village At Tampa Palms. Here, each of our residents will benefit from a personalized care plan that takes into consideration their needs and abilities. Our professional and compassionate team members are always on hand to provide assistance and facilitate activities that promote encouragement and foster self-esteem.
Please feel free to schedule a tour with us today, where you can check out the range of amenities we have on offer!