Dementia makes some big changes in how your elderly family member perceives the world around her as well as how she communicates with others and how she receives communication. That can create some challenges for you as well.
Remember to Hold onto Your Patience
Your first rule is to make sure that you hang onto your patience. As dementia progresses, it becomes more difficult for your senior to communicate with you and to understand what you’re trying to tell her. If you’re already frustrated or become frustrated during the time you’re talking with your senior, then it’s better to wait and try again later.
Watch Your Posture and Tone
As you’re communicating with your senior, your own body language and the tone of your voice communicate just as much as your words do. If you can move so that you’re facing your senior, that’s helpful, too. Leaning in toward her helps to form more of a connection, too.
Make Sure You Have Eye Contact
Before you start talking with your senior, gaining and maintaining eye contact can help immensely. If you’re coming into the room where your senior is, try to approach so that she can see you. This is especially important if she’s got trouble hearing so that you don’t surprise her. Lowering your head, by either sitting or bending down, can help you to get at eye level with your senior.
Use Other Nonverbal Communication Techniques
Gentle touch, especially by holding your senior’s hand or giving her a hug, along with other nonverbal communication techniques can be really helpful. These help to back up or reinforce your message, which can be essential for someone with dementia. Processing your words may be difficult, but if your nonverbal communication is backing up what you’re saying that can help with processing.
Pay Attention to What Your Senior Isn’t Saying
At some point your elderly family member may have difficulty communicating with you in ways that you’re able to easily understand. You are going to have to become familiar with her own nonverbal cues in order to fully get what she’s trying to communicate to you. This is sometimes easier with help from a caregiver who is experienced in helping people with dementia.
Sometimes communicating with your senior is much more difficult than you expect it to be. Dementia can create changes quickly, so it helps to have some tools that you can lean on in order to help.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in South Sacramento, CA please contact the caring staff at Aging Assistant today. (916) 897-4752
- Why Do Elderly Couples Often Need Home Care Assistance? - September 10, 2021
- How to Help Your Senior Deal With Mobility Issues - August 16, 2021
- Home Health Care Nurses Can Administer Medications That Family Caregivers Can’t - August 3, 2021