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How to talk with someone who has dementia
It is important for those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia to have meaningful interactions with others, and to feel loved. It can also be beneficial to family members who are able to have productive relationships with their loved ones who have dementia.
Here are a few tips to successfully communicate:
Minimize background noise and distractions. If there is a lot of noise or movement in the background the patient can become overstimulated, overwhelmed and confused. It’s best to clean up clutter, turn off the television (if they let you) and find a quiet space to converse.
One-one-one is best. Talking to multiple people at the same time can be confusing and overwhelming for the dementia sufferer. Try to keep interactions one-on-one to the extent possible.
Keep it simple—don’t split hairs. It’s best if you just stick to easy-to-understand, straight-forward concepts. If the patient is not getting something it probably won’t work to stay on that point and to keep trying to elaborate.
Just keep talking even if it seems no one is listening or responding.
Alzheimer’s disease can really take a toll on families and care givers. Following these few simple steps to communicating productively with Alzheimer’s patients should help.
Acknowledgement: This is adapted from something I saw from AgingCare.com.