Dementia is a progressive disorder that can make it a real challenge for seniors to remember basic information like names, dates, and places. If your senior loved one has dementia, you may find it difficult to communicate with them, especially if their disease has progressed. Below we’ll discuss several of the most effective communication tips for older adults with dementia.
Speak slowly and enunciate. Also, avoid complex words and use short sentences as much as possible. Simplifying your language is essential as dementia often interferes with the way senior citizens process information.
Ask One Question at a Time
If you have several questions to ask your older adult, ask one at a time. Asking too many questions at once will likely overwhelm them and make it difficult for you to get the answers you’re looking for. Wait until they answer one question before you move on to the next.
Use Body Language
While speaking and understanding speech may be difficult for seniors living with dementia, many of them can still comprehend non-verbal forms of communication. That’s why it’s a good idea to use eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures when you communicate with them.
It may take a long time for your older loved one to respond to your questions or comments. Therefore, do your best to be as patient as possible. Give them time to process what you’re saying so that their responses are more likely to make sense. Don’t rush them to respond as doing so can lead to unnecessary pressure and stress.
When you speak to your senior, do so in a quiet environment with minimal to no distractions. There’s a greater chance they’ll respond to you in a room without television and radio noise than in a crowded restaurant with loud music and background noise. If you are out and about and it’s noisy, step outside with them and try to find somewhere quieter.
Recognize Good Days and Bad Days
Just like anyone else, people with dementia have highs and lows. Recognize and accept the fact that one day your senior may understand you well and respond to you appropriately and the next day they may struggle.
Contact Bailah HomeCare Today
If you have further questions on communication tips for seniors with dementia or are interested in our home care services in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac and nearby areas in Maryland, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!