There is no easy way to live with Alzheimer’s, which is a type of dementia, but many people have to adapt since about 5.5 million Americans are dealing with this affliction. Loved ones need to understand the disease so that they can be helpful. The following are just a few tips that will help you do just that.
Tips to Help With Communication
This affliction can be hard on everyone, but that does not mean you should give up on attempting to communicate, so consider the following tips:
–Eye contact is incredibly important when you talk to a person with this affliction. It helps establish connection, and it helps the person you are talking to feel like you are paying attention to him or her.
–Use the person’s name as often as possible. This helps the person’s mind engage in what is being said since it pertains to him or her. In essence, using the person’s name often establishes connection akin to keeping eye contact.
–Distractions are your enemy and must be treated as such at all times. Keep in mind that distractions can be anything from a television to children playing nearby. It is best to find an isolated room to talk in to reduce possible distractions that could make the person you are talking to lose track of the conversation.
–Sadly, a conversation with more than one person can be confusing to a person with this affliction. It is best to talk to a person with this issue one by one. This increases your loved one’s ability to pay attention.
–It is important to be specific with someone dealing with Alzheimer’s. This way of talking is hard to get used to at first because people are used to speaking without referring to everything specifically. For example, it is normal to refer to something as an “it” instead of calling it what it is. You need to make sure that you refer to things specifically otherwise your loved one may not know what you are talking about. Be sure to avoid open ended questions, which can also be frustrating.
–Avoid quarreling with a person dealing with this disease. There is no point of arguing about what he or she might have forgotten or something similar. The best way to deal with a brewing argument is to simply walk away.
–Try to be patient with your loved one when you are having a conversation with him or her. This means that you should refrain from ending his or her sentences. It is better to ask direct questions that might help him or her remember what was said. What you want to do is think of what you are talking about, and try to ask a question related to the conversation.
–Some people with Alzheimer’s may live in a different reality from other people. Some may end up believing that people who have passed on are still alive, which could be reflected in the way the person talks. It is important to enter this reality with your loved one to make things easier for both of you.
–It is okay to get creative with the way you talk to a person with this problem. Think of using props or pictures to communicate with your loved one, which might make it easier for him or her to talk to you.
There is so much to learn about this disease, and it is okay to ask professionals for advice. They can be quite helpful on your journey. In the end, it is your patience and care that will make a difference, so just continue to be there for your loved one.