It can be challenging to watch your senior loved one with dementia struggle to have a conversation. Your senior might even become frustrated with the task. Dementia adversely affects your senior’s ability to focus, think, understand, and respond while carrying on a conversation. However, there are ways you can better communicate with your senior loved one. Read through our advice below and set yourself up for success before a conversation even begins!
The first step prior to conversation is to prepare yourself. Make sure you are calm, cool, and collected. Having a positive attitude is important, and your actions should come across as sincere. Have patience and be willing to take all the time with them that is needed.
Set the Environment
Another way to set your senior up for successful conversation is to make the environment calming. Set up the environment so you and your senior are the only focus. Remove any distractions from the space, including bright or bold colors and any background noise. Also, remember to keep the area well-lit so your senior won’t have any issues focusing on you.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
Since your senior will already have struggles focusing, your speech can be a big factor in how they perceive the conversation. Remember to be clear, enunciate well, and speak slowly and give your senior adequate time to process what you are saying before moving on. When referring to people and places, use specific names rather than pronouns. Finally, try rephrasing a question, rather than repeating it, if your senior is struggling to comprehend.
Be Aware of Your Non-Verbal Actions
During conversation, your body language is just as important as your physical speech and non-verbal actions. Remember to give a friendly smile or make eye contact. These are gestures that can provide reassurance for your senior. They will feel more relaxed during the conversation, which may lead to better and more engaging responses.
At Home Care Assistance of Nashville, our caregivers understand the difficulties that come along with caring for a senior loved one with dementia. We want to be there to support you and your family at any time you need assistance. Please feel free to give us a call at (615) 326-9849 and schedule your consultation to learn more about our dementia care services and how you can better communicate with your senior loved one.