Alzheimer’s by its nature presents major obstacles in communication. The decline in cognitive function makes normal conversations impossible. The difficulties in communication can cause family and friends to no longer be able to connect as effectively with loved ones and so they often avoid the situation. This, in turn, can lead to stress, sadness and loneliness for the person afflicted. However, there are ways to keep connected with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s.
Have the mindset of connecting: Make the decision to put aside your feelings about the condition while you are with the person. Just take in the moment for what it is. Be aware of your internal monologue as it will influence your body language and attitude which the loved one will pick up on it.
Plan visits: If you arrive with nothing to say or do, then more than likely you will be sitting in silence. Oftentimes, objects related to the person’s past, interests, or hobbies, can lift his or her spirits and facilitate conversation.
Embrace silence: While sitting in silence for the whole visit isn’t ideal, some silence is not bad. When it comes to talking, less can be more for people with Alzheimer’s. Not all silences have to be filled with conversation.
Keeping the connection with loved ones alive is important during such a critical stage of life. Try these tips if you are having trouble staying connected.