Sunshine Home Health Aide Org., Inc., a reputable home care company in La Mesa, California, recommends that you practice compassion, patience, and empathy when talking to individuals afflicted with memory loss conditions.
Conversing with a Family Member Who Has Dementia
Talking to someone who has dementia can sometimes be difficult. You’d rather just not say anything, right? However, when you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with the disease, it really is important to talk to them and show them that you still care. With the difficulties that come with dementia, sometimes it’s going to be hard to get your point across or even be understood the way you want. Well, it’s you who has to adjust, learn, and make the effort.
Here are some of the ways you can talk effectively with a friend or relative who has dementia:
- Focus on one thought at a time. If there are things you’d like to say to your elderly relative, be sure to focus one thought first and give them time to respond to that. You don’t want to bombard them with a whole bunch of matters that they won’t be able to process and would only be confused by.
- Kindness matters more than anything. It’s so easy to get upset with any situation involving dementia. This disease can test anyone’s patience in so many ways. However, instead of showing that you’re stressed, sad, or angry about it, let your kindness shine through. Take on a gentle and understanding tone when speaking to your loved one no matter how difficult the circumstance is.
- Be creative. Caring for a loved one who has dementia, you learn to deal with particular types of situations as you go along. For instance, if a loved one no longer responds to questions the way they usually do or if they’re no longer getting the meaning behind your words, put your creativity into play and try saying things in other ways. Don’t hesitate to explain using visuals or through demonstration.
- Listen from your heart. You and your loved one have a connection. While their gestures and eye movements may mean nothing to a stranger, you’ll know exactly what they translate to. If you listen from within and take into consideration all your experiences, the message your loved one is trying to convey with words, even though gibberish, will come through regardless.
- Be sensitive. If an elderly family member is trying to say something, let them finish getting the message across before jumping in. The rules for effectively communicating with anyone, but especially for dementia patients, is to never brush their feelings aside. Listen carefully to whatever your loved one has to say before responding appropriately and in a kind voice.
Perhaps, you can share your insights on how to talk effectively with those who have dementia. We’d especially love to hear about your first-hand experiences if you are willing to share them. Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the comment section.
A home health aide is an expert at interacting with dementia patients. Don’t think twice about hiring these professionals for friendly companionship and meaningful interactions for your loved one.