5 Tips for Communicating With an Alzheimer's Patient


Communicating with a person with Alzheimer's disease can be frustrating at times. You may feel awkward and wonder if that person even understands what you are trying to say to him or her. However, if you stay patient and change the way you interact with the person, you can communicate more effectively. Here are five helpful tips for communicating with an Alzheimer's patient:

Keep It Simple

When talking to an Alzheimer's patient, it is important to keep sentences and phrases as simple as possible. A person with Alzheimer's may have trouble comprehending too many ideas at one time. For example, try to ask questions that only require a yes or no answer. Instead of asking your family member what he or she wants to do, ask if he or she would like to go to the park.

Do not Interrupt

A person with Alzheimer's disease may take a while to respond to you. No matter how frustrated you get, you should avoid interrupting, as it can discourage your family member. Be patient and give the person plenty of time to respond. It may be helpful to hold your family member's hand as he or she thinks about what to say.

Get Rid of Distractions

A person with Alzheimer's disease may have a lot of trouble concentrating and focusing on one thing. When you want to talk to your family member, be sure to get rid of all distractions. If your family member hears the television or radio in the background, he or she may not comprehend what you say.

Do Not Use Baby Talk

It is important to avoid using baby talk when communicating with a person with Alzheimer's disease. If you use phrases like "good boy," for example, your family member may feel disrespected. To avoid hurt feelings, always talk to your family member like an adult.

Use Visual Cues

If you include visual cues with your words, a person with Alzheimer's may be able to understand you better. For example, if you want to tell your family member that it is time to eat, you can point to the kitchen.

There is no denying that Alzheimer's disease is a difficult condition to deal with at times. However, if you follow these tips, you can communicate with your loved one a lot easier. Your family member will appreciate that you are making the effort to communicate with him or her.


26 January 2017

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