How to Communicate with Loved Ones with Dementia
Seniors with dementia often have trouble communicating with loved ones as the disease progresses. Daughters and sons often have a hard time trying to communicate with their parents with dementia. It's not always easy from both perspectives. Sometimes dementia patients lose the ability to communicate verbally, so we must rely on other ways, such as facial expressions, gestures and body language.
Here are some tips on controlling your attitude and body language to communicate your feelings:
Make sure you have the senior's attention before speaking.
Minimize any distractions
Address the person by their name
Use nonverbal cues and touch
Lower yourself to the person's eye level & maintain eye contact
Validate the person's feelings.
Smile and use touch to show them you understand
Do not show that you are upset, it may upset them
Clearly state your message.
Use simple words & short sentences
Be precise & to the point
Engage in the person's favorite activities with them.
Show them that you care
Even if it is something you don't enjoy, smile and enjoy the moment
Anticipate and meet the person's needs.
Pay attention to their frequent requests
Examine their facial expressions
Try to tap into the person's long-term memory.
Long-term memory is the strongest type for a person with dementia
Focus on happy experiences