Dementia is a medical condition that describes a symptom, which damages communication, memory, and thinking skills of a person who suffers from it. In most cases, a person who suffers from dementia has poor judgment or a cognitive problem, confusion with place or time, and has aggressive actions and speech. That is why caregiver services in Chicago make sure that they give their full attention and understanding to their patients who suffer dementia. As a family member of someone who has dementia, you can also learn some strategies to fully learn and understand the situation of your loved one.
As with any other kind of circumstances, communication is also the key in dealing with dementia behavior. A good communication skill will likely improve your ability to handle difficult situation and challenging behavior of person who has dementia. To guide you accordingly, here are some of the effective tips for communicating with people suffering dementia.
Clearly State Your Message
Since people who have dementia are more likely to be in their 60’s and 70’s, use simple words and sentences as much as possible. Instead of using pronouns, such as he, she, or they, use the names of people or places. To clearly state your message, pitch your voice lower and speak slowly so that you can be fully understood. Moreover, avoid using higher or louder voice if they can’t understand you in the first time.
Break Down Activities into a Series of Steps
Just like in using simple words and sentences, giving simple instructions is also an ideal way to encourage your loved one to do what task he or she can do. When encouraging them to do a certain task, break down such task so that they can’t be overwhelmed. By breaking down the activities, you will make such tasks simpler and manageable for them.
Make Sure to Respond with Affection and Reassurance
People who are suffering from dementia are commonly disoriented, have mood swings, anxious, and confused with themselves and the things around them. As much as possible, refrain from telling them that they are wrong. Instead, respond to them with full comfort, support, and reassurance. Body languages, such as holding hands and hugging will definitely be a big help to show your care. Moreover, be patient with them in explaining different things.
Listen with Your Ears, Eyes, and Heart
One of the essential things that you should have in dealing with people who suffers from dementia is compassion. Sympathy and concern for their sufferings will help you connect with your loved one efficiently. Moreover, good listening skills are also helpful to understand them better. Be patient when they tend to forgot certain words or things.
Certainly, we are not born knowing how to communicate clearly with person who has dementia. However, we can learn and improve our communication skills that can help us deal with them and understand their situation. Practice some of the techniques mentioned to be able to interact well with your loved one. After all, dementia should not be a hindrance in your family bonding.