How to Communicate with an Aging Loved One with Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s disease causes symptoms that can make communication difficult for seniors. However, it is possible to maintain communication through every stage of Alzheimer’s by learning a few techniques. Make sure to add the following tips to your care plan so you can encourage your senior loved one to keep communicating even amid challenges.

Establish Eye Contact

It may be necessary to let your loved one know you want to communicate. Try to avoid startling him or her by approaching from the front. Get down to your loved one’s level if he or she is sitting down so you can speak face to face. Eye contact lets your loved one know you are interested in hearing what he or she says, and facing each other allows you to use nonverbal actions as cues to help him or her understand your meaning.

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Brampton seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that helps slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.

Use Simple Sentences

As Alzheimer’s progresses, your loved one may lose some of his or her receptive language abilities. He or she may also have difficulty remembering what was said at the beginning of a lengthy sentence. Try to break down your language into short, simple sentences to allow your loved one to understand the information.

Limit Directions

Memory loss can also make it difficult for seniors to remember multistep directions. Instead of giving your loved one a list of things to do, try giving only one direction at a time. Once your loved one accomplishes the first task, you can then move on to the next one. This approach also prevents older adults from feeling overwhelmed by a long list of directions.

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, a Brampton home care company 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.

Use Visual Cues

Seniors who experience changes in their communication skills may benefit from visual aids such as charts that add more meaning to verbal messages. Consider showing a picture of your loved one’s doctor if you need to tell him or her about an upcoming appointment. Alternatively, you could add images to a chart about how to conduct a procedure if your loved one tends to forget important steps. Pictures can also be used to give your loved one more control over elements of the day. For instance, you could encourage him or her to point to pictures of food on a menu when you are meal planning together.

Let Your Loved One Lead the Conversation

Your loved one will have some days when he or she is open to having conversations more than others. Use these times to strengthen communication skills by allowing your loved one to talk about anything he or she desires. Whether your loved one wants to reminisce about old times or has found a new hobby, getting him or her talking about personal interests encourages vocabulary retention as well as reasoning abilities. If your loved one lives alone, make sure he or she has regular social contact from professional caregivers, friends, and family members so he or she can continue to practice communication skills.

For families living in Brampton, ON, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home. To avail high-quality in-home care services and create a flexible care plan for your loved one, call us at 905-951-8885.