6 Communication Tips for Dementia Caregivers

By , 9:00 am on

As dementia progresses, affected seniors have more difficulty conveying their thoughts and properly interpreting their surroundings, which makes communication a challenge. Communicating soon becomes frustrating for the caregiver and the senior. However, there are many ways caregivers can overcome the issue by using a few tips and tricks. 

1. Have Empathy

Seniors living with dementia often become frustrated when they’re unable to effectively express themselves verbally or cannot comprehend what someone is trying to tell them. Understand the cognitive decline caused by the disorder, and feel empathy for your loved one. The tone of your voice and the words you choose can prevent anger and frustration.

Speech impairment can have negative effects on an aging adult’s overall health and wellbeing. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

2. Speak at a Normal Speed & Volume

Face your loved one when talking. Talk at a normal speed, and avoid raising the pitch of your voice. Speaking quickly, talking too loudly, or using a high-pitched voice may cause frustration, agitation, and anger. The irritation created by the abnormal sound might be similar to what some people experience when hearing nails scratching a chalkboard. 

3. Have Patience

Give your loved one enough time to answer in case it’s difficult to accurately say what he or she is thinking or feeling. Ask the question again if your loved one doesn’t respond the first time. Avoid rewording your question or response. Your loved one may feel you’re introducing more than one subject at a time, which may cause confusion or frustration. 

If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an Amarillo elderly home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.

4. Avoid Complex Questions

When questions are posed in such a way as to require thinking or remembering, seniors with dementia are often unable to respond due to the deficits caused by the disease process. Similarly, long, wordy questions also prove difficult to comprehend. The damaged brain cannot process the information. 

5. Simplify Requests

The memory loss seniors with dementia experience prevents them from remembering the steps involved in completing tasks. Older adults with dementia also often jumble the order of the steps needed to accomplish various activities. If your loved one seems to be having difficulty performing a certain task, guide him or her one step at a time. Once again, empathy and patience are important. 

6. Resist Arguing or Correcting

If your loved one remembers events incorrectly or demonstrates confusion in terms of person, place, or time, don’t argue. Correcting your loved one could cause unnecessary emotional distress. Divert the conversation. Try validation when your loved one makes an incorrect observation or statement. There may be an underlying reason his or her memory hones in on a certain person, place, or time. Perhaps the situation was particularly pleasing or rewarding. Reassure your loved one that you understand why the event creates a special feeling. 

Caring for seniors with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Amarillo families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (806) 803-9991 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.