How to Communicate with Someone with Alzheimer's Disease

How do you talk to someone with Alzheimer's Disease?

How do you begin a conversation with someone with dementia?


These are common questions asked by caregivers for those with memory loss. Alzheimer's disease affects a person’s communication skills which leads to difficulty with concentrating, thinking clearly, remembering names and topics of conversation and causing confusion. As the illness gets worse so do these problems. 


Caregivers that are taking care of Alzheimer’s patients may have a client with one or more of these challenges and should become trained in how to communicate effectively when interacting with someone with memory loss (online caregiver training courses include information on activities for seniors with memory loss and communication skills).


How to Communicate with someone with Memory Loss:


  • Always talk to Alzheimer’s patients from the front - approaching them from behind may startle them

  • Use a gentle and relaxed tone

  • Identify yourself each day (hey may not remember you every day so don’t be offended by this)

  • Ask questions with “yes” or “no” answers and avoid lengthy sentences which may overwhelm them

  • Give patients extra time to respond to better understand what you have said

  • Alzheimer's patients tend to copy people’s actions so use positive body language

  • Be patient and supportive and expect that they may not always cooperate with you

  • Use positive encouragement such as “good job” or “you’re doing great”

  • Always call your patient by their name and be respectful

  • Help them feel like the healthy adult that they once were

  • Smile

  • Go with the flow.....meet them where they are each day


Caregivers should remember that communicating with someone with Alzheimer's disease requires understanding, good listening skills, and most importantly, patience. Caregiverlist provides a caregiver training course for Alzheimer’s disease care that caregivers can take to learn more about helping people with the Alzheimer’s.


The Caregiver Stress Relief Photos of the Week also are nice conversation starters and a way to just sit back, relax and enjoy the view. Think of a common activity that you can keep as part of the routine each day, as a way to consistently have a conversation ice-breaker. Photos are one way to have daily conversation starters.



Alzheimer's Research Charity: July Quilts

 

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative auctions 27 quilts online each month. Quilts range in size-- 9' x 12' and smaller. Please take some time to view the July quilts for auction the 1st through the 10th. All proceeds from the auction fund Alzheimer's research.

Read more on the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Please look at a few of the quilts for auction below.

Review all July 2013 quilts here.

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative® is a national, grassroots charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI auctions and sells donated quilts, and sponsors a nationally touring exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's. The AAQI has raised more than $916,000 since January 2006. Ami Simms of Flint, Michigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operated entirely by volunteers. She is a quilter. Her mother had Alzheimer's.

Dementia Week 2013: Be Aware of Signs and Symptoms and How to Seek Care

National Dementia Week, from May 19th through May 25th, highlights senior care needs for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia.  There are many ways of getting involved and being aware such as knowing the signs and symptoms of dementia and knowing how to find care for your family member or friend in need.

Dementia occurs when the brain slowly loses its ability to process thoughts and is a decline in the cognitive function.  There are many diseases that cause dementia-- Alzheimer’s being the most well-known.  Other diseases that cause dementia include Lewy body disease, fronto-temporal dementia, vascular dementia, and many more.

The neurological symptoms associated with dementia can unfortunately affect our loved ones. What can you do when dementia affects your mother, father, aunt or grandfather?  One should be aware of the signs and symptoms.  Your family member or friend may experience memory loss, moodiness and/or communication difficulties.  As the dementia progresses, all of these symptoms may lead to a serious struggle for your family member or friend to get through the day on their own. 

What can you do when your loved one can no longer take care of themselves? 

Are you able to take care of them yourself? Or, will you need outside and additional help?

Caregiverlist  provides information on quality senior care companies and the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide.  Anyone seeking senior care options may submit a request to “find senior care” to be connected with quality companies in their area.  You can specify type of care—such as home care, assisted living, nursing home, etc.— and additional information such as the monthly budget and unique needs.

Anyone who may have gained experience as a caregiver while caring for a loved one with memory loss, may consider becoming a professional senior caregiver and submit a job application to be connected with hiring companies in their area.   

This Dementia Awareness Week, take some time to get acquainted with dementia and what Caregiverlist can do to help out your family or friend! 

-Kristin Kruk

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