Alzheimer’s Communication Tips for Caregivers

November 19, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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How can you help your loved one if they can’t tell you what they need? One of the many heartbreaking issues that crop up when Alzheimer’s starts to develop is the beginning of deterioration in communication skills. Alzheimer’s patients have trouble communicating because they simply start to forget how.

It is essential to the continued quality of life of the patient that caregivers, family, and other loved ones, understand the reason behind the communication breakdown as well as what they can do to help them communicate.

9 Tips for Communicating With Seniors Suffering From Alzheimer’s

Speaking with an Alzheimer’s patient can be a prickly situation. To encourage communication and avoid conflict or hurt feelings, you can:

  1. Set the stage. Maintain a warm tone of voice, eye contact, patience, and unthreatening body language
  2. Hold their hand while talking
  3. Be patient with responses and angry outbursts
  4. Encourage their involvement in the decision making process
  5. Give simple instructions, repeating if necessary
  6. Don’t talk about the patient like they are not there
  7. Don’t talk down to the patient, or use baby talk
  8. Ask yes or no questions if possible
  9. Limit choices (making it easier for them to choose)

The most important things to remember are to remain calm and to be patient. Many times, caregivers are family members that have known the people they are caring for their entire lives. It is difficult for anyone to see their loved ones go through the profound changes that Alzheimer’s brings, and it can be easy for family caregivers to be discouraged because they are used to an entire lifetime of easy communication.

Contact Care Options for Kids for In-Home Alzheimer’s Care Services

At Care Options for Kids, we understand the struggles families face when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. We refer loving and qualified caregivers to provide expert Alzheimer’s care – from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision.

Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or Request a Free In-Home Assessment. Together we can determine the right plan of action for your family.

If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home Alzheimer’s care services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.

National Institute on Aging: Managing Personality and Behavior Changes in Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Association: Communication and Alzheimer’s