Elderly Communication: Talking to a Loved One with Dementia

talking to a woman with dementia
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Taking care of a loved one who has dementia can be challenging. That is because communicating with them and understanding their needs can put you in a lot of struggle, especially if you do not understand what they are going through.

In this guide, we will discuss how you can communicate with a loved one who has dementia and when you should consider taking them to a memory care facility in Ogden or anywhere in Utah:

Be Kind

People who are suffering from dementia can be sensitive, so they could take it the wrong way if you talk to them in a negative manner. Your tone can be a trigger, which might cause them to act negatively at that moment.

Always be kind to them, especially whentalking and making them understand something. Set a positive and calm mood by not speaking too loudly and by speaking in a calm and collected voice. Smile often and make them see that you are in a positive mood and that talking to them uplifts your spirit.

Ask Simple Questions

Do not complicate your questions and ask them things they can answer with a simple yes or no. You would also want to make sure that you ask them one question at a time. Do not bombard them with a lot of questions, as they most likely would not be able to respond to each one at the same time.

Avoid giving them many choices, as this can confuse them further. Guide them with what answers they should be saying and let them think before answering. Never rush them into answering your questions.

Get Their Attention

talking to a woman with dementia

Limit the distractions around them so you can get their full attention. Turn off the television, lower the volume of the radio, and make sure that nothing else is going on outside. You would want to get their full attention so they can talk to you clearly and concisely.

Address them by their name when talking to them, introduce yourself if need be, and speak slowly so they would understand everything you are saying.

Reassure Them

A person with dementia often gets confused about their surroundings and what is happening around them. If they ever get an episode while you are talking to them, make sure to reassure them and do not go mad at them.

Do not repeatedly tell them that they are wrong, as this will only confuse them further. Instead, hold their hand, hug them, and tell them that everything will be okay. Reassurance will calm them down eventually, so make sure to be patient when the going gets tough.

Approach with Sense of Humor

One way to keep the mood light is by approaching the conversation with a sense of humor. Do not go dark with it or tell jokes they would not get, though, as this might confuse them. Just keep the conversation light and make them laugh with simple jokes and gestures.

Be patient when dealing with a loved one who has dementia. It sure is not easy to keep yourself calm and collected when they start getting confused, but you have to be strong for them. If you need help, then do not be afraid to ask for it.

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