How to Help a Senior with Alzheimer’s Communicate

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As your senior parent’s Alzheimer’s progresses, you may find communication becomes more challenging as your loved one loses his or her train of thought or has difficulty finding the right words to say. While it’s often difficult, emotional, and even frustrating to watch a loved one face challenges with such a simple task, there are ways you can help him or her communicate.

Find the Right Position 

Communication always works best when a senior with Alzheimer’s is able to see the person who’s speaking. Family caregivers should face their loved ones. This allows them to use the caregivers’ faces and gestures to understand the meaning behind their words. As you speak to your loved one, limit distractions by turning off televisions and radios that could blend with your voice.

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Roseville seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to.

Provide Visual Cues 

Another way to enhance communication is to provide visual cues that accompany your messages. Point, gesture, and show emotion as you speak to your loved one. Also, watch your loved one’s facial expressions and gestures so you can pick up on the nonverbal cues he or she uses to communicate his or her needs. Over time, you’ll begin to recognize certain expressions or gestures that make it easier to understand what your loved one is trying to say. 

Choose Simple Wording 

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, your loved one may have difficulty understanding complicated phrases and vocabulary. For this reason, it’s best to choose simple words and short sentences that are clear and concise. However, it’s important to avoid baby talk, which can come across as condescending. Remember your loved one still understands much of what’s going on around him or her.

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Allow for Extra Time

Showing your loved one respect as he or she takes the time to find the right words will always enhance communication. Take the time to let your loved one gather his or her thoughts. Try to avoid rushing your loved one by completing his or her sentences, and listen calmly until your parent is finished so he or she will be encouraged to continue trying to communicate. As you work together, you’ll begin to develop a communication style that will help you deepen your understanding and strengthen your relationship. 

A trained caregiver with experience in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s can be a fantastic resource for family members. Families looking for top-rated Roseville senior home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Call (916) 226-3737 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.


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