Don't Give Up: 3 Ways To Communicate When Your Loved One Has Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is a disease that affects the entire family. It robs the individual of their memories and it robs family members of their ability to communicate with their loved one. If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, you may feel like it's futile to try and communicate with your loved one. However, you should not give up hope.

While there will be lots of days when communication is impossible, there will be other days when you'll see a glimmer of hope. Those are the days you want to work for. Here are a few methods you can use that will help you communicate with your loved one.

Always Use Names

When your loved one has Alzheimer's, you never know when something you say is going to spark a memory. This is particularly true when talking about close friends and family. The most important thing you can do is use terms that may spark a memory. Try to avoid using generic terms such as "you" and "me" or other impersonal pronouns. Instead, always try to refer to people by their correct names. When starting a conversation, be sure to refer to them by the name you would usually call them, such as "mom" or "dad." It's also important that you identify yourself by name.

Make Your Visit Comfortable

If your loved one has Alzheimer's, loud noises or large crowds can create a distraction and make communication nearly impossible. When you sit down to visit with your loved one, be sure to find a quiet place for the visit. This will give you and your loved one the opportunity to concentrate on the conversation. This will also help you hold your loved one's attention.

Keep the Focus Narrow

You want to hold a complete conversation with your loved one. Unfortunately, that's not always possible for someone with Alzheimer's. Even if your loved one is lucid, it may be difficult for them to focus on complex conversations. Try to limit your conversations to small bits of information. Speak slowly and give your loved one enough time to absorb what you're saying. It's also important that you allow them the opportunity to respond in their own time.

If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's, don't give up on communication. The tips provided here will help you find ways to communicate with your loved one. For other resources you might need to care for your loved one, contact a company like Nxt Senior and Caregiver Resources Inc.