Wednesday Workshop – Socialization for Someone with Alzheimer’s
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. As we all know, socialization is an essential part of any person’s life. Throughout our lives, we interact with friends, family, and strangers on a daily basis. It is important that a person with dementia continue to have these sort of meaningful interactions, even as their disease progresses.
Interacting with people who have dementia can often be hardest for those who know them best, specifically friends and family, who knew what they were like “before” they were diagnosed with dementia. Many of these people don’t know what to think or how they can interact with someone who might not even recognize them anymore.
Know How to Interact
Make sure that whoever is interacting with your loved one knows how he or she can best communicate with the person with dementia. Let visitors know that they should go with the flow and try to follow these guidelines:
• Avoid talking in loud voices
• Talk slowly and avoid quick phrases.
• Be prepared for emotional outbursts and if there are some, speak calmly
• Keep eye contact
• Identify the person with dementia by name, so that he or she knows when someone addresses him or her
• Be prepared to repeat themselves
• Use commonly used words or phrases
• Use props and objects if needed
• Be prepared for the person with dementia to forget what he or she just said or get confused easily
• Look interested
To keep your loved one socially engaged in activities that stimulate the mind and body:
1. Stay active around the house
Your loved one can be stimulated by many things around the house. Visitors, children, and even pets can provide social stimulation for your loved one with dementia. Other things, like watching TV and listening to the radio can provide some stimulation but in these cases, the socialization is usually one sided.
2. Attend an Adult Day Care
Attending an adult day care puts your loved one directly in front of new faces. This gives your loved one the opportunity to communicate and to relate to the new people they meet.
Traveling opens up our world. We can be introduced to new people, different cultures and unique ways of living. Interacting with these new people gives our mind a social boost. Seeing how we are alike and different causes the brain to make connections which is extremely stimulating.
Socialization gives us a sense of belonging, of being part of a community—even if it’s a community of only a couple people. With community comes confidence: With confidence comes self-esteem and an increased sense of well-being. But the greatest benefit of socialization is that people who share experiences are much more likely to laugh together, and laughter may be the best boost to longevity that we have.
To speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!