Techniques for Dealing with Alzheimer’s
When it comes to maintaining and developing your relationship with the individual you know with Alzheimers disease, effective communication is key. However, even if you have known this individual for your entire life, finding ways to effectively communicate with an individual with Alzheimers disease can sometimes be a challenge. This is because dementia and Alzheimers disease can impair a persons capacity to understand word meaning and to speak as they normally do. However, this doesnt mean they are unable to effectively engage in conversation with another person or to communicate in an effective manner. In order to help an individual with Alzheimers communicate effectively, here are some communication techniques to keep in mind when speaking with these individuals.
Developing the Right Mindset
Before communicating with an individual who has dementia; it is important to have the right mindset. Remember, this individual may be confused or anxious and even irritable at time and it is not uncommon for these individuals to have low self-esteem. You will want to keep this in mind and remember to be patient as it may take some time for them to fully understand or comprehend what you are trying to say.
Make sure that when you are speaking with a person with dementia that you approach them from the front, as these individuals can often be easily startled. Make sure that when speaking to this individual that they have the best chance possible of both seeing and hearing you. You will also want to make sure that you are in a place where there are no distractions such as a television.
Make sure that you are speaking slowly, clearly an in a calm and friendly voice. You will want to make sure that you are also communicating in a polite manner, as sometimes individuals with dementia can be overly sensitive or easily irritated. Avoid using sarcasm or anything that may sound negative. Take your time when speaking and speak a little slower if needed, make sure that if you are giving tasks that you break them down into simple and easy to follow steps.
Using Visual Cues and Body
Body language can speak volumes, especially if an individual with dementia is confused about what it is that you are actually saying, they may focus mostly on your body language. Visual cues can be of great assistance when communicating as well, so feel free to use them if the individual you are speaking to seems confused.