It can be hard to see your senior loved one with dementia struggle with communication and having conversations. It can also be particularly frustrating for them. But unfortunately, dementia can mildly or severely affect their ability to think, comprehend, focus, and respond in conversation. To better communicate with your senior, the key to good conversation starts with setting your senior up for success before it begins. Read through our advice below to get the conversations going.
To take initial action, start by being prepared for conversation. Put yourself into a calm and relaxed state of mind. You want your attitude and demeanor to be pleasant and your actions to come across as sincere. Be patient and take the necessary time with your senior.
Set the Environment
You want the environment where your conversation will take place to be as calm as you are. That means eliminating any distractions, such as background noise and bright colors or patterns. Keep the space well-lit so your senior can focus on you, and you can hold their attention better.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
Keep in mind that your senior is likely having a difficult time comprehending and focusing on conversations. When you speak, do so very slowly and clearly. Do your best to enunciate and give your senior adequate time to process what you are saying before moving on. As you talk about people and places, use their specific names. If your senior becomes confused by a question, rephrase the question for them rather than repeating the same thing.
Be Aware of Your Non-Verbal Actions
Your body language and non-verbal actions are equally as important as your physical speech. Small actions like a friendly smile and reassuring eye contact can be the keys to making your loved senior feel comfortable and getting them to respond to conversation.
At Home Care Assistance of Greater Burlington, we understand the hardships that can come with caring for a loved one with dementia. Our expert caregivers are here for you at any time. If you need more information on dementia care services or advice on communicating with your senior, please contact us to schedule your consultation.