Senior Care in Apache Junction AZ: Five Ways to Make Communication Less Stressful with a Senior Who Has Dementia


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Five Ways to Make Communication Less Stressful with a Senior Who Has Dementia

For an elderly family member with dementia, communication can gradually become more of a difficulty. How you and your senior work around these difficulties matters a great deal because frustration can make the problem worse for both of you. Patience and a willingness to try some new things can pay off significantly.

Talking Louder Doesn’t Help

Lots of people fall into the trap of trying to talk louder to someone who doesn't understand what they're saying. But talking louder usually just distorts what's being said so that it's even more difficult for your senior to understand what's being said. If you're feeling frustrated, take a deep breath and try another tactic.

Try Rephrasing with Different Words

One of the techniques you might want to try is rephrasing what you're trying to say. If you've got anything in the sentence that isn't necessary to the meaning of what you're saying, consider just leaving it out. Simplifying language and eliminating excess choices can make a huge difference, too. For instance, a great deal of descriptive language or multiple adjectives can get overwhelming.

Write it Out

Sometimes people with dementia have a difficult time speaking or listening, but have a much better time writing a response. Keep a notebook and pen handy so that you can try writing the next time that you're having trouble communicating with each other. Having a chance to write her response can give your elderly family member a chance to use a different part of her brain.

Know When to Back Up

At some point, you may simply have to back away from attempting a conversation. When you've tried several different techniques, you may exhaust your senior as well as yourself. Continuing when you're both tense is going to make the situation more difficult. Unless the situation is an emergency, you can come back to it later.

Watch How Others Interact with Her

Something else that can help considerably is to watch how other people, such as senior care providers, interact with your senior. If they've got experience helping people with dementia to communicate, they can show you tips and tricks that can make a big difference for you both.

Communicating with an aging adult who has dementia is definitely different than it was in the past, but that doesn't mean that you have to give up completely. Changing just one or two small aspects of how you're attempting to talk with her can make a big difference.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Apache Junction, AZ, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today: 480-377-6770.

Mike Endredy, Owner
Mike has been involved with home care for the last 11 years as the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare of the East Valley (Phoenix AZ). 
Mike was brought to the home care industry like many folks through a need to care for my father near the end of his life. 
"Although my mother was the primary caregiver there was not a service to use that can offer relief for my mother and from 2,000 miles away I was not able to provide the care personally he needed.  It was however, a few years after my father's passing that I personally decided to change careers, leaving a career in engineering.  I have never looked back.  Making a difference in people's lives changes you more profoundly than anything and I love that experience.  In the eleven years of making a difference my exceptional team of caregivers and staff have made a difference through providing over 2 million hours worth of care.  This journey is just beginning.  Making a difference in somebody's life or a family members life is why I do what I do.  The hurdles, the heartbreak and the pain that comes makes me stronger and more determined to help another. " - Mike Endredy


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