Understanding how to communicate with a loved one suffering from dementia is very important. This article will provide 8 tips for how to communicate efficiently and effectively.
Tips For Talking To A Parent With Dementia
It is unfortunate but dementia certainly transforms individuals. Many people will use the expression “empty shell” when referring to someone suffering from dementia. This is not always the case, though. Some days your loved one may seem completely normal, and this would be the perfect time for a conversation regarding their well-being and future.
Here are 8 tips to help you communicate with your loved one:
1. Realize What You Are Facing
As we all know, unfortunately, dementia does worsen as time goes on. Anyone attempting to craft a conversation or ongoing dialogue with someone suffering from dementia needs to know how challenging this task will be. Those suffering from dementia will struggle to communicate and understand.
2. No Distractions
Setting is very important when attempting to talk seriously. Pick a place and time to sit down and speak. Having no distractions in the area will help your loved one to focus all their mental energy on the conversation.
3. Always Speak Naturally
Make sure to stay calm during the conversation and always speak naturally. This is more likely to put your parent at ease.
4. Use Their Name Frequently
Try to avoid using “he” or “she” during the talks. Use their given name frequently during the dialogue. This is also important to do when greeting someone with dementia.
5. Don’t Tackle Too Many Topics
You want to keep them focused and on-topic for as long as possible. People with dementia may not be able to take part in the mental back and forth involved in a complicated conversation. Stay on task and always be very clear and direct with your topic.
6. Use Nonverbal Cues
Examples of this would include maintaining eye contact, smiling and nodding, when appropriate. This is done to help comfort your parent while also establishing an understanding. Nonverbal communication is very crucial in the late stages of dementia.
7. Listen Attentively
Listening is key throughout this process, even if you intend on doing most of the talking. If you do not understand something they are saying, just kindly let them know without raising your voice.
8. Stay Patient
Really give your loved one plenty of time to think, react and explain. It may be difficult at times, but do not get upset. Try to remain patient at all times.
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