Communicating with a Person with Dementia Can Be Very Difficult

While I was shopping over the weekend, I overheard a woman scolding an older woman, who I am guessing was her mother.  Being in healthcare these past 10 years with a concentration in Alzheimer's/Dementia, it was clear to me that the older woman had dementia.  I was saddened,  by the way she was being treated, but I know how overwhelming and taxing it can be on the caregiver of an Alzheimer's patient. I thought to myself this lady needs a break. 

 Here are some tips on communicating with a person with Dementia:

  • Respond with affection and reassurance - People with dementia usually feel confused and scared
  • Listen with your ears and eyes and above all your heart - be patient
  • Be positive
  • Speak clearly and slowly
  • Ask simple questions and not to many
  • Try and relate the good old days to the current situation - remembering the past is often very soothing to a person with dementia.
  • Do your best to redirect and distract your loved one especially if they are aggressive or agitated.

Most importantly, take a break.  Ask a friend or family member to give you an hour or two to yourself, which in the long run will help make caregiving less stressful and will help you get along better with your loved one.  God Bless

Ginger Girl