What are some helpful approaches for better communication to elders with dementia?
- Movement and gesture clarity
- Eradicate distractions
- Verbal clarity
- Eye contact
Whether you are working as a dementia caregiver here in Chicago or taking care of a loved one at home, an elderly person affected with dementia may start to have trouble with communication as the disease progresses. Some of these communication issues typically include disorganized speech, easily losing track of thoughts, speaking in tangents and gibberish, or simply speaking less.
Those diagnosed with dementia may also have trouble understanding others, but they can still respond. So whether the person is being taken care of by elderly homecare services in Illinois or otherwise, there are many difficulties that come with communicating with someone who has this disease.
Let’s take a look at some of the most fundamental approaches that will help you better communicate with those diagnosed with dementia:
Clear Body Movements and Gestures
Your face can express emotions without even uttering a single word. Many facial expressions are universal and are usually the same for different cultures. So it is important to be clear about making the right facial clues to express something. When communicating with an elderly person with dementia, be sure to always have a pleasant or happy look on your face.
Body movements, posture, and gesture can say a lot. Project a calm attitude and demeanor and avoid body language that shows frustration, anger, or impatience. When attempting to communicate, try not to interrupt them and give your full attention.
If you need to talk to elders with dementia, do so without distractions: turn off the television, shut off the radio, close the door. It is also important to remember that before you talk to them, be certain that you have their attention. Always address them by their name and state yours and your relation to him or her. Using the right gestures can help increase focus.
Clarity with Speaking
Always remember to speak clearly and express your message using simple words and phrases. It is most ideal that you talk in a slow, distinct, and reassuring voice. Speak in a lower tone and do not raise your voice, but not in such a way that you become incomprehensible.
The Importance of Patience
At its very core, home care is all about selflessness, empathy, and patience, especially if your loved one has a disorder that is in the same vein as Alzheimer’s. You always have to be patient when waiting for their response. It is also important to note that you should not just listen with your ears but with your eyes as well.
Keeping Eye Contact
When in the midst of communication, be consistent with making eye contact and respecting personal space. Always approach from the front so that they can see you coming and have the time to process who you are. Clearly display the fact that you are about to engage and interact, and don’t stand too close because it can make them feel intimidated.
The people working with elderly homecare services in Illinois are experts with these communication techniques. Whether you are utilizing the services of a dementia caregiver here in Chicago or elsewhere, it’s necessary to adapt the way we communicate to match the abilities of your loved one.