Communicating Through Dementia
April 4, 2019
Communicating with someone who has dementia can be tough. They might keep forgetting things, repeating things, asking the same questions, they might even be having dramatic mood swings or their entire personality could change. There are lots of different ways dementia affects communication between you and your loved one. Here are some ways that you can effectively communicate with your loved one who is suffering from dementia.
Keep it Simple
When you’re communicating with someone who has dementia, you should keep your questions and language simple. This will allow for your loved one to be able to comprehend what you’re saying and easily engage in the conversation. On the same note, to keep them engaged, make sure you have their attention. Minimizing distractions in the background will make it easier to talk to your loved one, and easier for your loved one to stay focused.
Along with keeping your conversations simple and straightforward, you can also make their lives easier by breaking down activities in to small steps. This can make things more manageable for your loved one, and it’s easier for you to step in if they forget a step or do something wrong. Remember, if you do need to step in, be calm and reassuring, and gently remind them about a step, or calmly correct them.
Staying positive is a big factor in communicating with a loved one who suffers from dementia. If you stay positive around your loved one, they will feel more confident and safe in their lives. Be there for your loved one, and listen with your whole body. Let your loved one know that you are there for them and you’re listening to them. Respond to them with affection and reassurance, this will help them keep calm and positive when they might otherwise feel anxious about their situation.
Dementia can bring a lot of negative feelings in to your loved one’s life, and they could take it out on you. In that case, you should still try to stay positive around them. When they start to get angry or irritated, distract them by changing the subject or the environment so that they may stop feeling that way. You can also use humor to distract your loved one should they be feeling agitated. Humor is a great tool for helping your loved one not only be distracted from a situation, but laugh and feel better about their current situation.
Bring Back Good Memories
Helping your loved one remember good times is a sure fire way to help your loved one feel better. Asking them about their past is good because they’re likely to remember long-term memories over short-term memories like what they had for breakfast this morning. Help your loved one remember the good old days by asking them about it and engaging with them about it. This can help them feel happier and more peaceful as they might get caught up in the good memories they have.
Keeping your loved one engaged and active in conversation can positively affect them, so you should never stop engaging and helping, no matter what stage of dementia they are in. If you feel as though your loved one needs to be put in assisted living in Howard County, Maryland, Kenwood Care can help you. Contact us today for more information about our services and how we can help you and your loved one get through dementia together.