It might be challenging and psychologically tiring to communicate with an older loved one who has dementia. Interactions that are incomprehensible, improper, or awkward might result from Alzheimer’s or dementia, upsetting a family caregiver. Nevertheless, it is indeed crucial to adjust to the senior’s conduct over time and recognize that their illness does not in itself alter who they are. It is also crucial for carers of older citizens to always reply patiently. Dealing with dementia is an important part of making your loved one’s senior living experience as easy as it can be. Here are some phrases to avoid using while speaking to someone who has dementia, along with some appropriate solutions.
“Do You Remember?”
One could unintentionally say this statement out loud without even knowing it. Family caregivers frequently enquire about a senior’s memory. Naturally, the response is typically “no,” as amnesia is the most prevalent sign of dementia. Even so, it might be challenging to refrain from inquiring about daily activities or asking questions like “Do you recall (family member or close friend)?” A senior may get ashamed and depressed as a result of realizing they have lost memories.
There is no way to totally avoid the topic of the past, and for members of the family, doing so may be a happy experience. Try to alter your strategy, though, to be sympathetic to your loved one’s situation. Instead of rehashing past events, use phrases like “I recall when we sometimes would…” or “I recall when we walked to that cafe…”
“I Have Already Told You.”
When providing care to an individual with dementia, repetition of instructions is to be expected. You can find yourself explaining something to an older relative or friend, only to discover that they have forgotten and are thus restating their query. Saying “I have already told you” in this situation may do harm by reminding the individual of their illness and adding to their confusion.
Instead, say what you stated once more. Although it will require patience and you could become impatient, keep in mind that it is not their fault that they are forgetful. Just as sweetly as the first time, repeat what it was that you had previously told them. If you tell them it is something that they have previously inquired about, they would feel as if they had did something wrong, even though they are not sure what they did wrong.
“What Would You Like to Eat?”
Such open-ended inquiries might be quite challenging for an elderly person suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. This is particularly true if the query entails recalling anything, like “what did you do two days ago?” But in reality, even a straightforward inquiry like “where do you intend to go?” may be upsetting. Say, “Would you want to eat some fruit?” instead. Try to formulate your questions such that they can be responded to with a straightforward yes or no. Your senior loved one would not feel under pressure to attempt to remember something they cannot remember, or make a choice if you steer clear of open-ended queries.