Communication tips for Alzheimer's care

Those who are taking care of an older parent with Alzheimer's disease may know full well that a difficult task lies ahead, but this sometimes doesn't make it any easier. When the disease is far advanced, it can become increasingly difficult to communicate with a dementia patient.

In this case, the Methodist Hospital advises that those involved in home care use some special techniques.

Communication tips for Alzheimer's care First, one should use shorter sentences and make sure that instructions are broken down into different steps that are clear and easy to understand.

Repeating the information and only asking a patient one question at a time can also help ensure that there's less of a chance of distraction. Be sure to try and talk "positively," as well. For example, advise a patient to "walk carefully," instead of remarking, "Don't trip."

Arguments can be a common occurrence as patients become more irritable, but it's important not to get into any power struggles. Instead, understand that Alzheimer's disease has a voice of its own, and those who suffer from it may no longer be able to see another point of view.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that there are currently 14.9 million caregivers across the country who are taking care of 5.4 million patients.  

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