Helpful Tips to Communicate with the Elderly Who Have Dementia

  • Posted by Lisa
  • /
  • February 3, 2020

Caregiving is tough and is exhausting for those caring for individuals with dementia. Caregivers can find it challenging to ensure that those with dementia receive the best care, especially if they know that they can’t establish a good communication channel with them.

When a person is unable to express themselves and can’t depict their needs, it is perhaps one of the most frustrating things for a caregiver. We are sharing some quick tips that can help caregivers care for those with dementia.

Give them enough time to express what they need

Your dear ones are seeking mental support from you, especially when they are trying hard to express themselves. Don’t rush, and let them finish their sentence. Fast communication often stresses them, which leads to a situation where they forget what they were trying to communicate in the first place.

When you slow down the conversation, you can glean more information about their thoughts by looking at their expressions. Maintain eye contact while having a conversation. It also helps assure them that you are interested in listening.

Actively Empathize

You have to make sure you serve the elderly with both empathy and compassion, which makes caring a less tiring job. People with dementia are often confused and have trouble remembering recent instances, which is annoying at times.

Learn more about their condition, and think about how you would feel if you aren’t aware of the time, year, or even your own identity. This is what dementia is. Seek additional help if you are not sure about how to handle what you witness while caring for elderly adults.

Don’t Contradict

Always keep in mind that the underlying ailment is causing the issues and not the person. It is also helpful not to contradict or deny what they are saying. Their reality is quite real to them. Don’t argue; instead, ask them politely what they are feeling or what they want.

Always ensure they are comfortable while talking to you, even if you think they are wrong. Try to make them understand they are gently and, if possible, proof. Also, don’t lose your patience while your patient is expressing themselves.

Be Aware of Hearing Issues

Sometimes we are unable to understand why there’s a slow response or poor reaction from elderly with dementia. This could be due to a hearing issue. Many people also face issues related to hearing and are unable to communicate well. This can be frustrating for caregivers who aren’t aware of the actual cause.

Ensure that those in your care have their hearing checked and, if needed, are wearing a hearing aid, so there is less of a chance of hearing being at the heart of the issue in poor communication between both of you. A medical diagnosis may be required to ensure they can hear properly without the need for a hearing aid.

We can’t cure dementia and are aware that it gets worse with time. But, exhausting yourself both mentally and physically isn’t the answer. Hopefully, the above-mentioned tips are quite helpful in improving your care for dementia patients, along with helping you maintain your own adequate mental health.

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Related blog posts:

Caring for the Elderly with Alzheimer’s
Tips for Caring for the Elderly During Vacations

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