Wednesday Workshop – How to Cope with Changes in Communication Skills
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Communication is hard for people with Alzheimer’s disease because they have trouble remembering things. They may struggle to find words or forget what they want to say. You may feel impatient and wish they could just say what they want, but they can’t.
How to cope with changes in communication skills:
The first step is to understand that the disease causes changes in these skills. The second step is to try some tips that may make communication easier. For example, keep the following suggestions in mind as you go about day-to-day care.
To connect with a person who has Alzheimer’s disease:
1. Make eye contact to get your loved one’s attention and call the person by name.
2. Be aware of your tone and how loud your voice is, how you look at the person, and your “body language”. Body language is the message you send just by the way you hold your body. For example, if you stand with your arms folded very tightly, you may send the message that you are tense or angry.
3. Encourage a two-way conversation for as long as possible. This helps the person with Alzheimer’s feel better about himself or herself.
4. Use other methods besides speaking to help your loved one, such as a gentle touch to guide him or her.
5. Try distracting someone with Alzheimer’s disease if communication creates a problem. For example, offer a fun activity such as a snack or a walk around the neighborhood.
6. Ask questions that require a yes or no answer. For example, you could say, “Are you tired?” instead of “How do you feel?”
7. Limit the number of choices. For example, you could say, “Would you like a hamburger or chicken for dinner?” instead of “What would you like for dinner?”
8. Use different words if your loved one doesn’t understand what you said the first time. For example, if you ask your loved one whether he or she is hungry and you don’t get a response, you could say, “Dinner is ready now. Let’s eat.”
9. Try not to say “Don’t you remember?”
These are just a few suggestions for communicating with people living with Alzheimer’s disease, but for more information feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!