Using Nonverbal Communication in Dementia Care

By , 9:00 am on

Good communication is an important part of providing home care in Caledon for seniors with dementia because it can soothe their emotions while helping them understand what is happening throughout the day. Since dementia can affect your elderly loved one’s ability to comprehend oral language, nonverbal communication is essential for helping him or her fill in the gaps.

Pay Attention to Facial Expressions

Stress can show on your face and cause your loved one to feel alarmed. When providing Caledon dementia care for your loved one, keep a calm expression even if you feel stressed. Your facial expressions can also help demonstrate understanding. For example, smiling when your loved one accomplishes a task reinforces his or her efforts toward independence.

Match Your Body Language to the Situation

It is important to ensure your body language accurately depicts your intentions. For example, pointing toward a door may lead your loved one to think you want him or her to go into that room when you are actually telling him or her it is off limits. Instead, point in the direction you would like your loved one to go, and guide him or her there if needed.

Use Soothing Touches

A hand placed gently on your loved one’s arm can help steer him or her in the right direction, and it can also help calm him or her down during a stressful moment. However, it is important to make sure your loved one is comfortable with touching since it could lead to anger if he or she becomes distressed. As you develop your new relationship with your loved one, you will gradually learn when and how to use gentle touches to ease his or her emotions.

Position Yourself Correctly

The way you stand next to your loved one can have a powerful impact on his or her behavior. Try to avoid standing over your loved one because it can be intimidating. Instead, stand next to your loved one or drop down to his or her eye level if necessary. This way, your loved one may feel respected and in control of the situation.

Participating in activities designed to boost the brain is another way to approach your loved one’s dementia care. At Home Care Assistance, we offer a program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which uses activities to slow cognitive decline, delay the onset of dementia, and help seniors engage with others in an enjoyable way. In addition to dementia care, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, stroke, and Parkinson’s care in Caledon. For more information and to schedule a complimentary consultation with a knowledgeable Care Manager, please call 905-951-8885 today.