Dementia can make it difficult for seniors to communicate because this condition affects the language centers of the brain. Communication can further be impaired by memory and cognitive issues that make it challenging for seniors to discuss things. However, this does not mean you will no longer be able to talk to your senior loved one. Use the following tips to foster more understanding between you and your loved one.
Don’t Be Condescending
Seniors with dementia may have a mental condition, but they still prefer being treated as adults. Being patronized and spoken to in a baby voice can make seniors feel offended and hurt. If your loved one does not feel respected, you might find communication much more difficult. Try to always address your loved one like a mature human being.
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It can take a lot of time for seniors with dementia to organize their thoughts, and attempting to rush may overwhelm your loved one and make it difficult to communicate. When communicating with your loved one, be patient and give him or her some time to process your words and form sentences.
Don’t Try to Force Your Loved One to Remember
Trying to make seniors with dementia remember things may not necessarily work. Your loved one may become upset, confused, scared, or angry if you try to insist that he or she ought to remember something. It might be challenging to interact with your loved one if he or she does not remember the memories you share, but it is still possible to have pleasant conversations.
Try Communicating Nonverbally
Even when seniors with dementia have difficulty speaking and listening, they can benefit from social interaction. Whenever possible, try to use nonverbal communication like smiling, nodding, shaking your head, and pointing. Your loved one may find it easier to communicate when words are paired with facial movements and hand gestures.
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Don’t Spend Time Correcting Mistakes
Seniors with dementia can get confused at times. However, if you spend all of your time correcting mistakes, you may find conversations with your loved one to be exhausting, upsetting, or inefficient. It is fine to provide corrective information if your loved one requests it, but there is no reason to spend time quibbling about trivial matters.
Seniors with dementia often have difficulty focusing, so it is easy for them to get sidetracked during conversations. If you need to discuss something important, do it in a calm environment without a lot of noise, people, television, or other sources of distraction. Focus on one subject at a time during your conversation.
Dementia is a serious health issue that could impact a senior’s health, wellbeing, and independence. If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Las Vegas senior care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. To create a comprehensive in-home dementia care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at (702) 550-3185 today.