It is not an easy thing to watch your senior loved one with dementia struggle to have a conversation or with their communication. Your senior, too, might even become frustrated with the task. Dementia, unfortunately, affects your senior’s ability to focus, think, understand, and respond while having a conversation. But there are ways you can better communicate with them by setting them up for success before a conversation even begins. Read through our tips below and get started!
Your first step prior to conversation is to get yourself prepared. You want to make sure you are calm, cool, and collected. Having a positive attitude is important, and your actions should come across as sincere. Be patient with your senior and take the time with them that is needed.
Set the Environment
Another way you can set your senior up for successful conversation is to make the environment as calm as you are. Go ahead and remove any distractions from the space, including bright or bold colors and any background noise. Keep the area well-lit so your senior can focus on you a bit easier.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
Your own speech can be a big factor in how your senior perceives the conversation. Remember that they are already struggling to focus. When you speak, be clear, enunciate well, and speak slowly. You want to give your senior adequate time to process what you are saying before you move on. When referring to people and places, use specific names rather than pronouns. Lastly, instead of repeating a question if your senior is confused, try to rephrase it instead.
Be Aware of Your Non-Verbal Actions
Just as important as your physical speech is your body language and non-verbal actions. Giving a friendly smile or making eye contact are gestures that can be reassuring for your senior. They will feel more relaxed with you and may respond better to conversation.
Our caregivers at Home Care Assistance of Carmel want to be here to support you and your family because we know the challenges that come with caring for a senior loved one with dementia. Please feel free to give us a call at (317) 316-0804 and schedule your consultation if you would like to learn more about our dementia care services or how you can better communicate with your senior.