Have you ever tried to communicate with someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia? Did you end up feeling awkward and frustrated? Communicating with a loved one who has memory loss can be difficult, but with the right strategies, we can foster a more fulfilling relationship with a loved one.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia reduce a person’s ability to communicate. Everyone’s situation is unique, and changes in communication may not be pronounced during the early stages. Slowly, little-by-little, it sneaks up, until one day family members realize their loved one can no longer communicate in the same way they’ve known for years.
How to help make communication easier:
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIH), the first step is to understand that the disease causes changes in communication. The second step is to try a few of these tips that may help make communication easier. Such as:
- Call the person by name
- Make eye contact
- Be aware of tone of voice, how you look at the person, and your body language
- Encourage a two-way conversation for as long as possible
- Use other methods besides speaking, such as a gentle touch