How to improve communication with a patient with Alzheimer ?
Naturally, frustrations arise for both the caregiver and the patient. Here is our advice to help you manage the breakdown in communication you are facing.
Most common symptoms of dementia
During the early stages, people with Alzheimer tend to speak less and can not find some words to express themselves. Then the situation may aggravate quickly ; the patient has more and more difficulties to express his thoughts and feelings, making the communication worse and worse.
It is hard, especially when you have to deal with family members losing their temper as they see their loved ones being in decline. However, as frustrating and annoying it can be, you should not give up. As very often in personal or professional life, good communication is the key to solve your problems.
Facing Alzheimer with effective communication techniques
- Being patient : Don’t show any sign of annoyance or irritation, avoid correct their mistakes and never interrupt them. Be careful when you try to guess what they want to say.
- Being supportive : Show them you are trying your best to understand and keep on encouraging them when they are speaking. Even though as a caregiver, you are empathetic by nature..
- Reassure them : Tell them that things are ok ; even if they will not remember they just struggled to express something, it will affect their mood.
- Focus on the emotion : don’t focus too much on the facts, you need to find the intended meaning behind their say.
- Unspoken communication is a plus, but it doesn’t work with every patients.