Communicating with a family member suffering from Dementia

In this blog I want to explore how you can better communicate with a loved one suffering from  dementia

The first thing that caregivers have to understand about communicating with a person suffering from dementia is that they are able to hear and understand you.

People with dementia tend to have some form of repetitive behaviour and repetitive questioning.

They ask the same things over and over, and do the same thing over and over. If these questions are not answered, or are commented on in a negative way, they get confused, irritated and angry.

Next, caregivers must simply accept that this is part and parcel of the disease process. As the disease progresses, short term memory will also disappear. It is important for the care provider to remember that this is not reversible.

So what can we do to help when we encounter demented clients? Let’s create a stable, safe, supportive environment.

  1. Empathize. Accept and understand the limitations of the disease to the client. Place yourself in their shoes…It must be really frustrating when you don’t know what day, month, or year it is.
  2. Constant care. Instead of getting angry and giving a completely exasperated response… walk over, place a comforting hand around their shoulder, and answer them in a gentle and firm tone.
  3. Lather, rinse, repeat. Be prepared to do steps 1 & 2 again and again.  The client may forget that they asked you that question 5 minutes ago.

As you learn to communicate to your mom of dad better, you will be creating an environment that they can feel safe and comfortable in.

Once your loved one starts feeling secure they will become less confused, angry and frustrated to the people around them. This uplifts the quality time that they spend with you and others