It can be challenging for everyone involved when caring for a parent with a diminished memory. The emotional impact it can have can be devastating. You’ll probably notice their communication capabilities severely dwindle. They might even get extremely agitated during simple conversations. They might not even recognize you or other family members in some cases. As difficult as this all may seem, there are ways to communicate with and build relationships with those suffering from Dementia or Alzheimers. Continue reading to find out more.
Showing Patience and Compassion
Dementia and Alzheimers are frustrating diseases for everyone involved, including patients and their families. It’s easy to feel like you’ve lost your loved one while they’re still alive. This can be an emotional rollercoaster of stress, impatience, and anger. While these feelings are understandable, taking them out on the person suffering from the disease won’t do any good.
Try to be empathetic and patient with your parent as they attempt to communicate. It’s important to remember that they have no control over their illness and are likely frustrated. There’s no reason to add fuel to the fire. Patience and understanding will allow your parent to communicate comfortably without feeling anxious or pressured.
Limit Your Questions
Asking too many questions to someone who has Alzheimer’s or Dementia can cause unnecessary pressure and stress. Their brain goes into overdrive to interpret your questions and answer them. Instead, try to limit questions and rephrase them as directives instead. Try not to seem overbearing as you do this. Talk with them instead of talking at them. Rather than asking them if they’re hungry, try saying, “Dinner’s on the table for you when you’re ready to eat.” Subtle changes like this can go a long way.
It might be tempting to correct your parents when they remember things inaccurately, but you should refrain from doing this as much as possible. This can be agitating and frustrating, causing sadness to your parent. Instead, allow them to express their ideas and memories the way they remember them. It’s better than causing the frustration and confusion of correcting them each time.
Treat them with Dignity
You might notice that you talk to your parent like a child when they have Alzheimer’s or Dementia. This takes away from their dignity, which can be detrimental to those suffering from the disease, often making things worse. You may need to speak slower and more clearly, but avoid talking down to your parents. Don’t ignore their feelings.
Refrain from Engaging in Arguments
Those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia can become easily irritated and argumentative. Rather than bickering back with them, try to avoid getting into arguments. The small details aren’t necessary. What is important is that you stay engaged with your parent in the present.
Suggest, Don’t Correct
Try suggesting what they might be trying to say instead rather than correcting your parent when they’re having difficulty using communication skills or recalling vocabulary. This will help keep your parent aware of important information, like metaphors, names of specific objects, and overall communication skills.
It’s imperative that our loved ones with dementia or Alzheimers need reassurance that they are loved and appreciated. Be sure to regularly remind them that you love them and are there for them. You have no idea how powerful a simple “I love you, and I’ll always be here for you” can be. Communication is vital for caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Make life much easier for yourself and your loved one by communicating clearly and showing love, compassion, and patience.
Sometimes caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or Dementia can be extremely difficult, and completely understandable. Just know that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to people in your exact predicament. You might want to consider contacting an adult daycare for assistance caring for your loved one, especially when you’re not available to help them, such as when you’re at work.
At Nevada Adult Day Healthcare Centers, you can rest assured your senior will be given the utmost care and attention. Our staff is full of compassionate people who love what they do. We offer many services, such as nursing services, physical therapy, daily living activities assistance, social activities, recreational activities, hot and healthy meals, podiatry services, transportation services, etc. Contact us for more information.