Friday, May 11, 2012

Communication to senior with Alzheimer's disease

From Alzheimers Association


Alzheimer's disease can gradually diminish a person's ability to communicate. Not only do people with dementia have more difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions, they also have more trouble understanding others. Here are some tips to help you and the person with dementia understand each other better.
... Changes in communication

The person with dementia may experience changes in communication such as:

Difficulty finding the right words
Using familiar words repeatedly
Inventing new words to describe familiar objects
Easily lose their train of thought
Difficulty organizing words logically
Reverting to speaking in a native language
Using curse words
Speaking less often
More often relying on gestures instead of speaking

Tips for better communication

Let the person know you are listening and trying to understand what is being said.

Keep good eye contact. Show the person that you care about what is being said. 

Let the person think about and describe whatever he or she wants to. Be careful not to interrupt.

Avoid criticizing, correcting and arguing.

If the person uses the wrong word or cannot find a word, try guessing the right one.

If you don't understand what is being said, ask the person to point or gesture.

Focus on the feelings, not the facts. Sometimes the emotions being expressed are more important than what is being said. Look for the feelings behind the words.

Always approach the person from the front. Tell the person who you are.

Call the person by name. It helps orient the person and gets his or her attention.

Use short, simple words and sentences. Talk slowly and clearly.

Ask one question at a time.

Patiently wait for a response. A person may need extra time to process your request.

Repeat information and questions. If the person doesn't respond, wait a moment. Then ask again.

Avoid quizzing. Reminiscing can be healthy, but avoid asking, "Do you remember when...?"

Give simple explanations. Avoid using logic and reason at great length. Give a complete response in a clear and concise way.


1 comment:

  1. Many patients are in denial. Sometimes one of the best things you can do for a loved one is to be a friend and assist them without making their disabilities so apparent.

    Alzheimer specialist