Understanding how to talk to a parent dealing with dementia is crucial. Somedays your loved one may seem fine, while other days you may not recognize their personality, at all. Tough conversations about their well-being and future need to be completed. Here are 7 tips for communicating with someone suffering from dementia.
Tip 1. Research Ahead Of Time
Whenever you are planning a dialogue regarding a loved one suffering from dementia, it’s crucial to understand how challenging this task can be. As we all know, dementia will worsen over time, making the communication aspect more and more difficult. Loved ones suffering from dementia may become argumentative and confused during these talks.
Tip 2. No Distractions
The setting is very important for these talks. Pick a place and time to sit down and speak to your loved. Ensure that there are zero distractions in the area. You want your loved one to focus all of their mental energy on the topic at hand.
Tip 3. Speak Naturally
Stay calm during this talk and always speak naturally. Speaking naturally will help put everyone, especially the parent suffering from dementia, at ease.
Tip 4. Call Them By Name
Call your loved one by his or her name frequently during the conversations. Avoid using “he” or “she” at this time. Greeting someone with dementia by name is always recommended.
Tip 5. Use Nonverbal Cues
Examples of nonverbal cues include smiling, nodding, defined body language and maintaining eye contact. Nonverbal cues are needed to help comfort your loved one, while establishing an understanding at the same time. During the later stages of dementia, this becomes more important.
Tip 6. Listen
Listening is perhaps the biggest key to successful communication. Even if you plan on talking the most during the conversation, the importance of listening cannot be overstated. If you do not understand something, remain calm without raising your voice.
Tip 7. Remain Patient
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