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Communicating with a senior with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be a challenging task. Dementia not only
Not communicating properly with seniors suffering from dementia can impact the way you care for them. Moreover, it can also make seniors think that you don’t care for them which in turn can push the seniors into depression and loneliness.
Consequently, it is essential to communicate properly with seniors with dementia to help them recover and feel good. Here’s how you can speak to seniors with dementia.
Tips To Speak To Seniors With Dementia
It can be difficult for seniors with dementia to understand complex speech patterns. So, it is much better to keep the sentence structures simple as making out multi-clause sentences seems challenging to seniors. Moreover, seniors with severe cognitive impairments can also not understand this.
Speak slowly and take pauses while speaking to the seniors. If the seniors are unable to get you at first, don’t hesitate to repeat and elaborate. Also, be patient when seeking a response from the seniors and give them extra time to respond.
Talk like an adult
Instead of talking to seniors as if they were a baby, using short sentences, and childish vocabulary, speak to seniors like an adult. At times, talking to seniors in this tone is perceived as disrespectful and can make things more difficult for you.
Give them choices
Offer choices to seniors and control their life. But be wary of giving too many choices as this can also confuse dementia patients.
Take advantage of the environment
You can also communicate with the seniors by taking advantage of the objects in the environment such as food, music, photographs, or any other thing. This will not only enable you to talk to them but will also keep the seniors engaged.
The seniors will not understand abstract vocabulary, metaphors, wordplay, or colloquialisms. Seniors with dementia only tend to understand concrete language rich in concrete nouns and actual names instead of pet names.
Focus on feelings, not facts
Individuals living with dementia still greatly benefit from social engagement and the opportunity to partake in dialogue. You must continue to interact with them, even when it seems like the conversation isn’t progressing in a traditional sense.
Conversations with dementia patients differ from standard ones, and it’s important to understand that the goal isn’t to rectify inaccuracies or obtain correct responses. Instead, it’s more beneficial to concentrate on emotions and the sense of connection, rather than focusing on factual accuracy.
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