I recently attended a seminar entitled “Communication Strategies for your loved one with Dementia/Alzheimer’s.
The strategies were divided into “Verbal” and “Nonverbal” communications. There were some ideas we’d like to share.
- Use familiar words. Newer slang and computer terms are very difficult to relate to. Explain what you are trying to convey.
- Talk slowly
- Limit the number of conversation partners. Everyone speaking at the same time is very difficult to follow. One speaker at a time, same topic.
- Don’t have conversation with someone on the other side of the room.
- Use simple, direct statements
- Be concrete. Certain topics need special care; medical, financial, family matters should be thought through prior to presenting.
- Avoid arguing. You may have issue with something that happened right now, they may be thinking of something 50 years ago.
- Provide additional information. Be prepared to respond to questions, with solid, factual answers.
- Present material matter-of-factly”. If you are stating your opinion, it is better to begin, “this is my opinion”.
Material was presented by Sandy Christos, M.S., CCC-SLP, Clinical Specialist, Master Clinitian-Dementia.
If you have questions or comments, contact Rick Messemer, firstname.lastname@example.org