Parkinson’s and Communication: Tips for Understanding One Another

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Comfortable communication is important between any caregiver and care recipient, but it can become increasingly difficult after a Parkinson’s diagnosis. Those providing Parkinson’s care in Caledon often benefit by making some simple changes and keeping the following tips in mind.

Remain patient. Seniors with Parkinson’s may have difficulty communicating due to deterioration of neurological and muscular systems resulting in slurred speech or misspoken words. Remaining patient shows a willingness to listen and give your senior loved one time as much time as he or she needs to develop words.

Avoid finishing a senior’s sentences. Individuals with Parkinson’s often retain full cognition, and they are capable of speaking for themselves. However, they often speak slowly. Give your loved one time to complete thoughts and sentences independently.

Use yes and no questions. Parkinson’s might make it difficult to answer in complete sentences, but most individuals are capable of answering with a yes or no. This is a simplistic approach to communicating and often an effective one. 

Ask your loved one how he or she prefers to communicate. There may be days when an individual with Parkinson’s has an easier time with one form of motor functioning than another. When this happens, simplify communication by using writing, pictures, or typing as an alternative to speaking.

Use FaceTime to communicate. Family members who provide long-distance care can benefit from using FaceTime, Skype, or other video chat services when speaking to a loved one. Individuals with Parkinson’s may have difficulty annunciating words, and caregivers often understand them better when they can see and hear the senior.

Laugh it off. If your loved one is having a difficult time communicating or feeling frustrated, a genuine, friendly smile and heartfelt laughter can relieve the stress and provide much needed comfort.

Parkinson’s symptoms can sometimes make effective communication challenging. By following these tips, you can keep your relationship stronger and provide the most effective care for your loved one. 

For help managing your loved one’s care needs, reach out to Home Care Assistance in Caledon. Our compassionate and highly trained Parkinson’s caregivers can assist your loved one with a wide range of daily activities including bating, grooming, meal preparation, and transportation. Give us a call today at 905-951-8885 to schedule your complimentary in-home consultation.