22 Feb Helping a Person with Dementia Communicate Effectively
Those with dementia are not able to express their thoughts or emotions as efficiently as they could before the disease. As dementia progresses, the individual may also have a hard time understanding the expressions and emotions of others. There are ways loved ones can help their family member communicate more effectively, and ease the frustration a person with Alzheimer’s experiences during conversations.
Offering Support and Being Patient
It is critical that a loved one be patient with the person they are communicating with. Showing the person that you care about what they are saying: not interrupting or correcting them, and ensuring that they know you are listening is critical. Even if the individual gets something wrong, family members should not correct them.
Offering Reassurance and Comfort
It can be difficult for someone with dementia to communicate. People experiencing dementia sometimes lose their ability to find the words they need; they may stumble, trail off, or forget where they were going with their statement. It is important that they receive encouragement to remember and continue, but without feeling anxious. If they cannot express their emotions or feelings, they should be reassured that it is okay.
Never Criticize or Correct
It is frustrating for family members just as much as the loved one with dementia, but that does not mean conversations should become critical or negative in nature. A person with dementia does not need to hear that they are incorrect. Correcting or criticizing will lead to agitation and withdrawal.
Help with Suggestions
Sometimes a person with dementia may have difficulty remembering a word or use the wrong word during a conversation. A loved one can help by being patient and giving time or suggesting a word there is no point in correcting them with a guess. Correcting could cause unnecessary frustration.
Encourage Body Language Instead
The caregivers at Windemere Park of Oakland, a dementia care facility in Troy, encourage their residents to use body language, gestures and point when they cannot think of the proper word. This eliminates the frustration of trying to recall the right word and still allows the Resident to communicate what they need or want.
As dementia progresses, a person is more easily distracted. Therefore, limiting distractions during conversations may help them focus on their thoughts and the conversation. To limit distractions, taking the conversation to a quiet, private room is best.
Focus More on the Feelings Behind the Conversation, Not Facts
When visiting loved ones at a dementia care facility interactions can be incredibly meaningful. Windemere Park of Oakland located in Troy helps enhance the relational time a family spends together. Windemere Park encourages families to focus on the emotions expressed more than the facts or words coming from their loved one. At times, the tone of the conversation can tell a person more than