Dementia changes many things in our lives. One of the very most important ones is the ability to communicate thoughts, needs, and emotions to other people, or being able to understand what someone is trying to communicate to you.
Abilities may shift before care partners even realize that changes have occurred, which complicates matters even more. This problem can exacerbate frustration and anxiety levels, causing angst for everyone. Care partner awareness is key, and having techniques in hand to deal with situations as they arise will help. Consider these handy tips from the website www.dementiacarefoundation.org:
- Speak with a smile, so I know you care.
- If you are tense, remember that I feel your tension too.
- Use language I understand-keep it simple, no jargon or slang.
- Slow down your speech: keep it short and to the point.
- Be clear and concise; only one idea at a time.
- Let me take the time to think through what you said to me.
- Let me set the pace and be the leader in the conversation.
- Face me when you talk, eye contact helps to get my complete attention.
- Give me time to find the words and to say my thoughts.
- Let me finish what I am trying to say; it takes a little longer sometimes.
- Adjust tone of voice up or down. Louder is NOT always better.
- Please be patient, treat me with the dignity and respect you would like to be treated
Perhaps some of these techniques might make a positive difference for you and your loved one.