How to Talk to Parents with Dementia or Alzheimer’s?
by goldenUser ,February 15, 2023
Taking care of old parents is hard but when they are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s beyond challenging. One of the main concerns is lack of communication as someone with dementia has trouble talking or expressing. This creates a difficult situation for caregivers and children to understand and help them. Here are some tips on how to communicate with your parents suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Some Adult Day Health Care Center in Arcadia offers specialized services for elders with dementia and allows them to be part of a community.
How to Communicate to Parent with Dementia?
Be Understanding and Reassuring
Seniors suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s often get frustrated when someone doesn’t listen to them. Be patient with them, and offer them support and care. Wait for them to finish talking and do not interrupt them. Understanding their trouble and respecting them is the first step toward establishing clear communication.
An elderly with dementia often gets distracted easily by noise from the TV or sounds from outside. Limit the distraction by switching off the tv or closing the Door. Always choose a time and place where there is minimum noise or distraction to talk to them. Without constant interruption or distraction, it’s easier for them to form a thought or talk to others.
As our parents grow old, they become more stubborn and with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it gets worse. However, arguing is not the way to move forward. Sometimes we understand that they are wrong, but arguing with them will make it worse. It will have a negative impact on their health and mind. Be supportive of their decision and wait for the right moment to change their mind.
Speak Clearly and at a Slow Pace
One of the crucial things to understand about elders with dementia is that they cannot understand when we talk normally. They are losing their grasp on hearing and understanding along with memories. Talk to them slowly and clearly. Do not hasten them to understand. Talk to them first and wait patiently for a response.
Instead of asking questions, you can suggest them. Most people think by asking questions, we are helping them, it’s false. They do not understand the questions correctly and might answer wrong. By suggesting them, we are giving them the option to choose from. Also, never questions them repeatedly or act condescendingly.
Visual and Nonverbal Cues
Senior adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s might not be able to speak properly or communicate, but they can observe perfectly. That’s why we always suggest being patient with them. By using visual cues like maintaining eye contact, pointing a direction at something, choosing their outfits and laying them on the bed and others. These visual cues can help both patients and caregivers to have an understanding without talking. One of the most important things to remember about visual and nonverbal cues is that we should not show any negative cues to them. Taping our feet, rolling our eyes or pointing fingers are signs of boredom or aggression which is easily understood by elders.
Elders who are suffering from dementia might be struggling with communication but we need to treat them with respect. Talking to them loudly, criticizing them or other visual cues might hurt their feeling. If they don’t feel respected, they might close off from any further communication. Always stay polite, wait patiently for the response, talk slowly and calmly and write notes for them.
Caregivers and children often try to help their parents with dementia and Alzheimer’s but they don’t know how. Without communication, they cannot answer any questions. By using some of the tips mentioned in the article, they will be able to talk to their parents. It’s a small effort that goes long way. Golden Year Adult Day Health Care in Arcadia offers a facility for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s. They provide door to door transportation, nutrient-rich snacks and lunch, group activity and more.