One of the greatest challenges of caring for a senior with dementia can be watching them have a difficult time with communication. Struggling with conversation can be frustrating for them, too. Dementia often affects a senior’s capability to think, understand, and stay focused on a conversation. But fortunately, there several steps you can take that can help your senior have more successful conversations. Read through our tips below and learn how you can get a good conversation started.
Are you ready? The first step begins with YOU. Successful conversation often starts with you being calm, cool, and collected. You want to be in a patient and relaxed state of mind so that your senior perceives you as pleasant your actions feel genuine to them.
Set the Environment
Once you are feeling calm and relaxed, arrange the environment to reflect those same feelings. Make the space serene by removing distractions such as noisiness and bright colors. The environment should be well-lit to make it easier for your senior to see you and focus on you during conversation.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
Don’t forget – your senior is probably going to have a hard time comprehending and focusing on your conversation. Keep this in mind as you speak and try to be as clear and concise as possible. Remember to speak slowly so your senior has enough time to process each sentence, and do not change topics too soon. When you talk about people and places, use specific names instead of pronouns. If your senior isn’t grasping something you are saying, rephrase to better get your point across.
Be Aware of Your Non-Verbal Actions
Do not underestimate the power of your body language and non-verbal actions. These are crucial in helping your senior feel comfortable and respond to conversation. A friendly smile or making reassuring eye contact with your loved one can go a long way.
Our caregivers here at Home Care Assistance of Oklahoma recognize the hardships that can come with caring for a loved one with dementia. That’s why we want to be here to support you and your loved one at any time. If you would like further information on our dementia care services or guidance on communicating with your senior, please give us a call today at (405) 277-0035.