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Tips for Speaking with a Parent Who Has Dementia

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Dementia is a progressive disorder that disrupts daily life. What starts out as forgetting minor things could turn into severe cognitive impairment that makes communication with an aging loved one challenging for family caregivers. However, you can use the tips mentioned below to continue communicating and connecting with your loved one more effectively.

Speak Clearly

If you rush your words, it may be difficult for your parent to understand what you’re saying. As a result, your loved one could become upset when he or she is unable to follow the conversation and may begin to lash out at you or other individuals. When speaking, don’t go at a fast pace, and make sure to use a soft but audible tone. Talking too quietly could cause your loved one to misunderstand the conversation, but speaking loudly could frighten him or her and increase the risk of behavioral problems.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

Eliminate Background Noises

Simple distractions are difficult to ignore for older adults with dementia. Their minds may wander when hearing birds chirping, cars driving by, or the radio playing in the background. Turn off televisions and audio sources when having a conversation with your parent. You should also close the windows and doors to prevent outside noises from disrupting discussions. When you’re out in public, guide your loved one to a quiet space in the venue before speaking. If you try to talk over the noises, your tone could startle your loved one, and the crowded area could cause him or her to become anxious.

Don’t Get Agitated

Your parent may need a few minutes to respond to your questions, and this is fine. If your loved one repeats words over and over and continues to ask you the same questions, answer politely and try to distract him or her with an activity or a different topic. However, you should never get upset with your loved one. Dementia causes neurological damage that prevents your loved one from remembering things or responding logically. If you become agitated, he or she could mimic your behavior and become angry or even violent as a result. Always speak to your loved one calmly and respectfully.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Use Nonverbal Cues

Communicating may become difficult for seniors with dementia, especially those who develop aphasia. Aphasia is common among older adults with dementia, and they’ll have difficulty speaking as a result. The issues could be minor, such as forgetting a word or two. However, as dementia progresses, your parent may find it difficult to speak using full sentences. Having a conversation may be challenging, which is why you should use nonverbal cues when talking to your loved one and encourage him or her to do the same. For instance, you can point to objects, such as a bathroom door, kitchen utensils, or pictures in a book or on a computer screen.

If you’re looking for reliable dementia care, Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance offers high-quality at-home care for seniors who are managing the challenges of cognitive decline. We offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses mentally stimulating activities to boost cognitive health in the elderly. CTM has proven to help seniors with dementia regain a sense of pride and accomplishment and learn how to engage with others in an enjoyable way. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at 484-350-3874 to learn about our high-quality in-home dementia care services.