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9 Tips for Communicating with a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

9 Tips for Communicating with a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

“If you learn to listen for clues as to how I feel instead of what I say, you will be able to understand me much better.”
—Mara Botonis

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States is on the rise. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it accounts for over five million Americans. In fact, in the top ten leading causes of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is considered as the only one that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured.

One of the cognitive skills affected by this horrendous disease is your loved one’s ability to communicate. Trust Home Care, Inc., a Home Care in Bowie, Maryland, lays down some ways you can communicate effectively with your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Make a research.
    What may be causing your senior to act grumpy? Your senior loved one may go through drastic mood swings. The only way you can understand this is to learn more about the disease. Luckily, research is made easier. Thanks to the internet.
  2. Get rid of distractions.
    When talking to them, make sure that you put away any distractions. Try to look for a quiet place. This helps your loved one focus on the conversation.
  3. Call people by their names.
    Avoid using third person pronouns (e.g. he/she, him/her, them, they, etc.) to avoid confusion.
  4. Introduce yourself.
    Remember that Alzheimer’s disease makes them forget about many things, including you. So before starting a conversation with them, introduce yourself.
  5. Speak coherently.
    They cannot process words as fast as people who have no Alzheimer’s disease. Give them enough time to catch up with what you are saying. Also, speak in short and direct sentences.
  6. Ask one question at a time.
    Do not throw another question when they are not done answering the first one yet. We also recommend that you start your questions with what, who, where, and when. Stay away from why and how questions. These questions often require complicated answers. If they fail to answer, it will get them frustrated. They might throw a tantrum.
  7. Make use of non-verbal cues.
    Non-verbal cues can help you catch their attention. Make sure to maintain an eye contact all throughout the conversation. You can also nod and touch them from time to time.
  8. Never argue with them.
    Alzheimer’s disease affects your loved one’s reasoning. This means that their thinking may be irrational. Arguing with them will not get you anywhere. Your loved one might get irritated with you and stop talking to you.
  9. Be patient.
    Talking to them might be infuriating. But no matter what happens, never ever lose your cool. Do not raise your voice at them. You have to understand that it is not their fault.

For a reliable Home Health Care in Bowie, Maryland, give Trust Home Care, Inc. a thought. To learn more, please do not hesitate to talk to one of our staff. Give us a ring at 240-432-8461.

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