How to Effectively Communicate with Seniors with Dementia
Dementia is a medical condition in which the memory of the seniors or any patient suffering from the medical condition is impacted. It consists of various different symptoms. It is not exactly a disease but rather a collection of symptoms which has a direct impact on memory.
People suffering from dementia, often suffer from memory loss. You need to keep in mind that it is common for such people to forget things which were discussed even in the recent past. That is why you have to be extra careful when you’re communicating with senior suffering from dementia.
We will today share with you how to effectively communicate with seniors with dementia.
- Be calm
The 1st and foremost thing which you have to always keep in mind is that you have to be calm. You have to understand that you might have to repeat things multiple times. You might have to repeat things which you have spoken just a few minutes back. Instead of getting angry, you have to always remain calm. Only when that is the case, it will become easier for you to communicate with seniors suffering from dementia.
Jane Byrne at FirstCare.ie notes that dementia is not a disease itself, but a set of symptoms that can be caused by other diseases. Many of us have heard of Alzheimer’s, which is the most common cause of dementia, but there are also others, such as vascular dementia.
- Remain Focused
You need to pay attention to how much, the seniors are able to understand and what they have forgotten. Only when you do that, you will be able to carry out a dedicated conversation with senior suffering from dementia.
If you want to carry out a half-hearted conversion with someone suffering from dementia, you will not be able to do so. That is why you have to always remain focused.
- Speak in a clear voice
Most of the people who suffer from dementia already have difficulty in connecting the dots as well as remembering the older thoughts. You should not add to it by speaking in a vague voice. You have to always speak in a crystal clear voice. This will help them comprehend what you speak.
- Speak slowly
You need to always ensure that you speak slowly. This will ensure that each and every word can be comprehended by seniors who are suffering from dementia.
At the same point in time, you have to always ensure that you are using simpler words as well. When you use simpler words, there is no chance of miscommunication. When you speak slowly, it is likely that you will be able to pronounce each and every word accurately. This will help you in conveying your message more easily.
- Use simple sentences
You have to avoid long sentences at all costs. When you speak with senior suffering from dementia, it is important to follow a few tips while forming the sentences. These include:
- You should use short sentences.
- You should not use too many conjunctions in a sentence.
- You should include only a single thought in a sentence.
- You should try to form grammatically correct sentences.
When you are able to do so, it will be very easy for you to communicate with people or seniors who suffer from dementia.
- Use positive sentences
The people who suffer from dementia are already under a lot of stress. Owing to this very reason, negative sentences will actually compound the problem. A much easier solution is to go for the positive sentences.
Instead of saying something like don’t go here, it is a good idea to list down the places to where they can go instead. This will ensure that you are able to always eliminate the negative thoughts from the sentences. This will help them not only comprehend what you’re saying but also reduce their stress.
- Ignore memory lapses
You have to keep in mind that in spite of your best efforts, there will be memory lapses on their part. You will have to repeat things. At some times, it will seem frustrating to communicate with them. You need to, however, ignore these memory lapses. If you make a big issue out of them, most of the seniors suffering from dementia will not be eager to communicate with you. This will further increase the problem.
So, when you’re trying to figure out how to effectively communicate with seniors with dementia, it is important to take into account these few steps. Only once you are able to do that you will be able to communicate with them without any problem at all.