How to Communicate Well with an Aging Adult Who Has Alzheimer’s

By 5  am on

Communicating with a senior who has moderate to severe Alzheimer’s can be a stressful and time-consuming process. Even those who are in the earliest stages of this disease often find it difficult to follow stories and form coherent sentences. While there is no single tactic or strategy that will work for everyone, the following tips can help you prevent frustrating interactions with your senior loved one.

Continue to Include Your Loved One in Conversations

One of the most effective ways to minimize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is to provide social and mental engagement. Excluding your loved one from certain conversations because you think the topic might confuse or aggravate him or her could speed up the progression of the disease and amplify its symptoms. Including your loved one in these types of conversations may teach you both how to effectively communicate with each other.

Being able to communicate with others despite impairments can boost your loved one’s health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional at-home care. Vancouver, BC, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Avoid Arguments

It is important to realize there is no way to win an argument with a senior with Alzheimer’s. Even if you use hard facts and try to reason with your loved one, his or her reality could be quite different than your own. Whenever a conversation becomes heated or your loved one seems agitated, try to switch over to a pleasant topic. Asking about a favorite movie or a memory he or she cherishes may help you avoid saying something you might regret later on.

Steer Clear of Controversial Topics

Trying to have deep discussions about complicated and potentially controversial topics should be avoided. Subjects such as religion or politics could anger your loved one, and he or she might not be able to coherently explain his or her beliefs. You should also ask all visitors to avoid these types of subjects whenever they are interacting with your loved one. People who don’t regularly interact with seniors with Alzheimer’s often forget how severe the symptoms can be.

If you are the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Vancouver, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Don’t Ask About Your Loved One’s Memory

You might be tempted to ask if your loved one remembers certain events or people, but this is another common trigger for senior with Alzheimer’s. Not being able to recall an important event or ex-spouse can be devastating, and your loved one might avoid speaking with you simply out of embarrassment. Instead of asking direct questions, go through old photos or listen to your loved one’s favorite albums and then gauge his or her reaction.

Explore Alternative Methods of Communication

Face-to-face conversations might seem like the easiest way to communicate, but many seniors with Alzheimer’s have a difficult time processing information quickly. Depending on the severity of your loved one’s symptoms, he or she might benefit from other forms of communication such as texting, writing letters, or emailing.

Remember to Smile and Laugh

Even if your loved one doesn’t remember certain details or can’t fully understand a topic, he or she may still pick up on your body language. As soon as you seem frustrated or angry, your loved one will most likely mirror those emotions. Laughing about silly situations can lighten the mood and strengthen your relationship.

Every senior living with Alzheimer’s deserves high-quality Alzheimer’s care. Vancouver, BC, families can rely on the caregivers at Home Care Assistance to keep their loved ones safe while managing the symptoms of the disease. Using our Cognitive Therapeutics Method, our caregivers help seniors regain a sense of pride and accomplishment while slowing the rate of cognitive decline. To learn about our revolutionary senior home care plans, call one of our professional Case Managers at today.

Request Free Information or
Schedule a Free in-Home Consultation