How To Communicate with Someone with Alzheimers or Dementia

Author

SHOLOM MN

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Sholom

Posted on

Aug 13, 2023

Book/Edition

Minnesota - Twin Cities Metro Area

Share This

Did you know that over 6 million people live with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States?

Alzheimer’s and dementia are diseases that have a major effect on a person’s short-term memory. These diseases make it difficult for people to think clearly, hold conversations, and take care of themselves. This is why many receive in-home care to help them with everyday tasks.  At times it can be incredibly difficult to communicate with someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, there are a few things that you can do to communicate more effectively with them.  Read this quick guide for a few helpful tips.

How Alzheimer’s and Dementia Affect the Brain

Both Alzheimer’s and dementia have a serious impact on a person’s brain. Alzheimer’s disease causes the brain to shrink while dementia can make you lose cognitive function. This makes short-term memories almost impossible to recall.

The Best Communication Tips

There are a few communication tips that you can use when talking to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Here’s a quick look at these basic tips.

Focus on Long-Term Memories

As mentioned above, these diseases make short-term memories almost impossible to recall. This is why holding a conversation is so difficult. Focusing on long-term memories can help bypass this so that you can have a conversation with them.

Embrace Non-Verbal Communication

Sometimes the most effective form of communication is non-verbal communication. A smile, friendly and welcoming body language, and eye contact are extremely important when talking to people with short-term memory disorders. In this way, you can communicate without making them feel irritated or confused.

Pay Attention to the Tone

While your words may be confusing, your tone is always clear. This is why it’s so important to pay attention to your tone when talking to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s important to never talk down to them or use harsh language.  This can cause confusion, irritation, and more frustration.

Shorten Sentences

The best way to communicate is with short sentences. This is because shorter sentences are easier for everyone to follow and understand. Short sentences get straight to the point and don’t require as much cognitive focus to keep up with.

Don’t Correct Them

When talking to people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s important to talk in an encouraging, directional way. This means that you should avoid correcting them or saying no. Correcting them all the time can get frustrating for them and will end up making the entire process much longer.

How to Speak to Someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

It’s incredibly difficult to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The disease has a major impact on your cognitive abilities, which is why so many require home care services. However, utilizing these tips can make communication easier.

If you’re looking for a senior living facility that can provide your loved one with the care they need, visit our website for more information.

Other Articles You May Like

The Lumin - A 60 Unit Affordable Housing Community for Seniors 62+

At CommonBond, we serve people of all ages young people, families, veterans, and older adults. Our belief is that everyone deserves the foundation of a home.  However, it is impossible to ignore the increasing demand for affordable senior housing in our communities. The Lumin a 60-unit affordable housing development for seniors ages 62 and older is helping to meet this need.The Lumin is the first of 10 planned affordable rental developments at Highland Bridge, a 122-acre parcel of land in the Highland Park neighborhood in Saint Paul. The building opened in November 2023, and residents began moving into their new homes. Older adults face a unique set of challenges such as growing health concerns, caregiving needs, isolation, and so much more. Increased physical and mental health challenges mean greater costs, therefore amplifying the need for affordable housing as folks age.  Not only that, but the increasingly high cost of living becomes even more difficult to manage for seniors who are retired and living on a fixed income. This means older adults must make tough decisions about how to pay for basic needs like food, health care, and housing.  According to a 2023 Harvard Study, Nearly 11.2 million older adult households were cost burdened in 2021, an all-time high and a significant increase from the 9.7 million and 8.8. million recorded in 2016 and 2011, respectively. When folks are cost burdened, it means they pay more than 30% of their income for housing.*Across CommonBond, the average resident income for seniors 55 and older is $18,062. Compare that to $59,428, the average annual salary across the United States as of 2024 (forbes.com)*. The need for affordable senior housing in our communities is loud and clear, and CommonBond is proud to provide The Lumin as a deliberate effort to answer this call.Located at the intersection of Cretin and Bohland avenues, the building includes a community room, a wellness room, and bike storage. There will also be an Advantage Services Coordinator to provide services and programming for residents, including those in the seven units dedicated for seniors who have experienced homelessness.We are pleased to offer affordable homes for seniors in the Highland Park neighborhood. Thank you to Minnesota Housing, the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County, the Saint Paul Public Housing Agency, Enterprise Community Partners, LHB Architects, and Ryan Companies, who helped make The Lumin possible!*Housing Americas Older Adults 2023 Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University*forbes.com/advisor/business/average-salary-by-state  

How to Combat the Epidemic of Lonliness

Last year the U. S. Surgeon General issued a very important Surgeon General Advisory, Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation 2023. Unlike other advisories that touch on things like opioids, obesity, HIV/AIDS, and smoking for instance, this latest one is about the need for social connection.Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy wrote, Loneliness is the subjective feeling that youre lacking the social connections you need. It can feel like being stranded, abandoned, or cut off from the people with whom you belongeven if youre surrounded by other people. Whats missing when youre lonely is the feeling of closeness, trust, and the affection of genuine friends, loved ones, and community.He went on: Loneliness is far more than just a bad feeling, it harms both individual and societal health. It is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety and premature death . . . And the harmful consequences of a society that lacks social connection can be felt in our schools, workplaces and civic organizations where performance, productivity and engagement are diminished.For aging adults, which is my focus, the lack of social connection and loneliness was brought to everyones attention during COVID when seniors and their families were isolated from each other. No one who had a mom or dad in senior living during that time will forget the anxiety around trying to connect with their loved one.The advisory focuses on cultivating a culture of connection, one that rests on the core values of kindness, respect, service and commitment to one another. And it offers practical recommendations on what different groups of people can do to advance social connections. All can be found on SurgeonGeneral.gov, but Im including here several recommendations aimed at individuals. Invest time in nurturing your relationships through consistent, frequent and high-quality engagement with others. Take time each day to reach out to a friend of family member. Minimize distraction during conversations to increase the quality of time you spend with others. For instance, dont check your phone during meals with friends, important conversations and family time. Seek out opportunities to serve and support others, either by helping your family, co-workers, friends or strangers in your community or by participating in community service. Be responsive, supportive and practice gratitude. As we practice these behaviors, others are more likely to reciprocate, strengthening our social bonds and improving relationship satisfaction. Actively engage with people of different backgrounds and experiences to expand your understanding of and relationships with others. Seek help during times of struggle with loneliness or isolation by reaching out to a family member, friend, counselor or healthcare provider. Participate in social and community groups. Of course, the last bullet is an absolute given in senior living communities like Saint Therese. We believe one of the most important benefits to older adults in our community be it independent, assisted, memory care or nursing home is the opportunity to make social connections and live well.

Brighter Tomorrows: Alzheimers Care and Senior Resilience

Seniors with Alzheimers disease set out on a path fraught with uncertainties and difficulties. But this trip also reveals a tremendous potential for resilience, a trait that allows them to overcome hardship, endure, and find hope. Alzheimers care encourages seniors resilience, enabling them to face each day with bravery and tenacity. This blog post will discuss how, despite the challenges of the illness, Alzheimers care increases elders resilience and opens doors to better futures. Comprehending Alzheimers and ResilienceAlzheimers disease is a neurological condition that worsens over time and affects memory, thinking, and day-to-day functioning. Seniors with Alzheimers disease face new challenges every day as they adjust to changes in their abilities and perspectives on the world. In this context, resilience is defined as the capacity to overcome obstacles presented by the illness, adjust to changing circumstances, and recover from setbacks while maintaining ones well-being and sense of purpose. Empowering Through Supportive CareBy offering individualized support and encouragement, Alzheimers care professionals significantly contribute to the development of seniors resilience. By providing empathetic support with everyday tasks, handling medication, and creating customized care plans, caregivers enable elderly individuals to preserve their sense of autonomy and independence. Alzheimers care builds resilience in elders by providing a supportive environment where they feel appreciated and cherished. Encouraging Mental HealthSeniors living with Alzheimers disease may experience a variety of feelings, such as worry, despair, and frustration. The goal of Alzheimers care is to support emotional health by listening with compassion, validating emotions, and creating a supportive environment. Seniors who receive care are able to handle lifes emotional ups and downs with fortitude and grace because caregivers are kind and understanding. Encouraging Meaningful EngagementSeniors resilience to Alzheimers disease is enhanced when they participate in activities that make them happy and fulfilled. With specially designed activities that improve cognitive function, inspire creativity, and strengthen social bonds, Alzheimers care encourages meaningful engagement. Through activities such as music therapy, art therapy, or memory exercises, caregivers provide seniors with the chance to live fully and purposefully in every moment. Developing Relationships and Support NetworksSeniors resilience in the face of Alzheimers disease depends on their ability to maintain social networks and support networks. Alzheimers care makes socialization opportunities easier, whether they involve group activities, outings, or visits with loved ones. In addition to being companions and advocates, caregivers foster relationships that offer support, strength, and a sense of communityall essential components of resilience during trying times. Honoring Milestones and AchievementsDespite the difficulties associated with Alzheimers, each milestone and accomplishment deserve to be honored. Alzheimers care promotes a sense of pride and self-worth in seniors by recognizing and appreciating their accomplishments, no matter how minor. Caregivers strengthen the resilience of seniors by acknowledging and validating their strengths and contributions, which gives them the confidence and resolve to tackle every day.Its important to acknowledge the incredible resiliency of seniors impacted by Alzheimers disease. Loved ones and Alzheimers care can foster this resilience and give seniors the strength, fortitude, and hope they need to confront the intricacies of Alzheimers disease. If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimers and Dementia Care in Aurora, CO please contact the caring staff at Talem Home Care & Placement Services today. Call (720) 789-8529At Talem Home Care of Broomfield, we provide passionate, understanding, and flexible caregivers in Broomfield, Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Brighton, Commerce City, Denver, Erie, Firestone, Lafayette, Lakewood, Longmont, Louisville, Northglenn, Sherrelwood, Thornton, Welby, Westminster, Wheat Ridge and surrounding areas in Colorado.

Local Services By This Author

Sholom-Menorah West

Affordable-Subsidized 3600 Phillips Pkwy S, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, 55426

Menorah West Menorah West is located on the 17-acre Ackerberg Family Campus at Highway 169 and Highway 7 in St. Louis Park. 45 one-bedroom apartments Controlled entry Access to campus activities and kosher meals Nearby public transportation Bilingual staff Pets welcome Outdoor patio Sholoms HUD-supported apartment tenants have access to services provided by Sholom Home Care. The wide array of personal and home making services are available for private pay as well as for participants who qualify for State Waiver Programs: both the Elderly Waiver (EW) and Home and Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals (CADI). 45 one-bedroom apartments Controlled entry Nearby public transportation Bilingual staff Small pets permitted Outdoor patio

Sholom-Shaller Family East Campus

Affordable-Subsidized 760 Perlman St, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55102

Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Apartments 45 one-bedroom units Outdoor patio Free, heated underground parking Wireless internet and basic cable television, Laundry facilities on each floor Beauty/barber shop on campus Nearby public transportation Access to an expansive library. Sholom, in partnership with our community, supports adults in need across the continuum of care, to live life fully in a Jewish environment and where all are welcome. 45 one-bedroom units Recreational, cultural and social programming Free, heated underground parking Wireless internet and basic cable television Laundry facilities on each floor Beauty/barber shop on campus Outdoor patio Nearby public transportation Access to an expansive library

Sholom-Jay & Rose Phillips Center for Memory Care

Memory Care 740 Kay Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55102

WELCOME HOMEThe Phillips Center is a separate, supportive environment with 18 studio apartments designed and staffed for the distinctive needs of adults with dementia and memory loss. Specialized services, amenities and programs support each persons dignity and uniqueness and give families peace of mind.COMMUNITY AMENITIESPrivate studio apartment with spacious bathControlled accessComfortable, family-style living room, sunroom, kitchen and dining roomSecured rooftop gardenWhirlpool spaOn-site Beauty/Barber ShopAccess to the other amenities of the Shaller Family campusAviaryCAMPUS AMENITIESControlled accessGuest services deskAccess to our short-term rehab and outpatient therapyA variety of community spaces available