If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, staying connected with friends and family may become increasingly challenging for him or her. As the disease progresses, you’ll likely have to adapt your communication style based on your loved one’s “new normal.” Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Early Stage Communication
When Alzheimer’s is first diagnosed, most people with the disease can still participate in meaningful conversations. It’s important to continue to include your loved one in interactions with others, especially at large events that may be slightly overwhelming. Speak directly to your loved one, and take the time to listen to his or her responses, even though he or she may repeat him or herself or have difficulty finding the right words. Be honest about your feelings, and don’t be afraid to have frank conversations. It can also be helpful to talk with your loved one about what method of communication he or she feels most comfortable with.
A trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Middle Stage Communication
This stage of Alzheimer’s is considered moderate and can persist for many years. When communicating with a person in this stage of the disease, one-on-one conversation in a quiet area is usually best. Be patient, and allow your loved one plenty of time to respond. Maintain eye contact, speak slowly and clearly, and avoid overwhelming your loved one with a lot of questions or complex responses to his or her queries.
Professional caregivers with training and expertise in Alzheimer’s care can often identify the sources of seniors’ communication issues and respond effectively and compassionately. Aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease can benefit from receiving professional Alzheimer’s care. McKinney seniors need regular mental stimulation when managing memory-related conditions, and a reliable in-home caregiver who has extensive training in Alzheimer’s care can be a great asset.
Late Stage Communication
Though communicating with your loved one during the later stages of Alzheimer’s may be challenging, the most important thing to remember is to treat him or her with dignity and respect. If spoken language is no longer possible, rely on touch, images, gestures, and facial expressions to convey your feelings and allow your loved one to express his or hers. By being prepared for the changes your loved one will go through, it can be easier to handle the effects the disease will have on your relationship.
If your loved one with Alzheimer’s has difficulty with comprehension or letting you know his or her needs, these suggestions can ease the communication process. 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 McKinney 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. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your loved one, call us at (972) 548-0392 today.