A family member suffering from dementia can cause the entire situation at home to become difficult, not just for themselves, but for those around them as well, including family members and carers. One such struggle that you need to deal with at this time is communication changes in dementia patients. Here is how you can handle the situation.
Take Note of the Common Communication Changes
Each person is treated uniquely when they suffer from dementia. That uniqueness extends to their ability to communicate with others. Notably, there are common communication changes that are worth taking note of. Among them are difficulties to find the right word, the inability to understand what you are trying to say, and even reading and writing skills deterioration. A lot of times, people with dementia may speak fluently, but you may not understand what they are driving at. They may not be able to express their emotions, and may even interrupt the person they are talking to.
Check Their Listening and Visual Skills
Alongside spotting communication changes, it also pays to check on these skills. Some people may simply need hearing aids or eyeglasses. Make sure that these devices are working properly if they are already using them. Likewise, you have to be careful with how you project yourselves in front of a loved one who is suffering from dementia since negative body language can send them the wrong signal.
The way you talk can make handling communication changes in people with dementia a success or a failure. It is best to talk in a calm and gentle manner. Keep your sentences simple and short in order to easily impart your message. Allow your loved ones to get a grasp of what you are saying. Orient them about who they are talking to or who you are talking about, like using words such as “son”, “friend”, “daughter”, and the like when you are describing someone.
Body Language Is Crucial
Using hand gestures and having appropriate facial expressions will make your loved ones understand you better. You can point on certain things or demonstrate an action, as needed. Holding their hand affectionately can keep their attention. Give them a warm smile, and laugh with them whenever they feel like it.
Avoid Things that Aggravate the Situation
Never order your loved ones around, or they will feel agitated. Never argue with them or else the situation will become worse. Never tell them what they are not capable of doing. Instead, encourage them to do what they can. Never ask a lot of questions, or do not talk as if they are not around.
Provide Them with Memory Care
Memory care is among the senior living options that your loved ones with dementia may consider. A retirement community with professional caregivers is the best place where their thoughts are heard, and where communication changes in dementia can be handled accordingly.