Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease that not only affects those who suffer from it, but also their loved ones. Watching a loved one decline cognitively can be heartbreaking, but there are ways to help make communication easier. Depending on the stage of Alzheimer's, different communication techniques may be more effective.
Here are my tips for how to talk to someone who has Alzheimer's so you can help them feel understood and comfortable.
The Early Stages of Alzheimer's
During the early stage of Alzheimer's, it is important to keep things simple. Talk in short sentences, use concrete words, and avoid asking too many questions. Be patient and understanding, and make sure to listen more than you talk.
The Middle Stages of Alzheimer's
In the middle stage of Alzheimer's, communication becomes a bit more difficult. Your loved one may have trouble following conversations or remembering what was said. Try to use familiar words and keep your sentences short. Break down complex tasks into smaller steps and avoid using negative language.
The Late Stages of Alzheimer's
In the late stage of Alzheimer's, communication is often very limited. Most people in this stage can only communicate basic needs and desires. It is important to be patient and continue to try to communicate with them as best you can. You may want to even consider using sign language or picture cards to help them understand what you are saying. Another communication tip as a caregiver is to watch for tone and body language.
Support Through Each Stage
When communicating with someone who has Alzheimer's, it's important to be patient and use kind words. It's also important to use communication techniques that are specific to each stage of the disease. In the early stages of Alzheimer's, for example, you may want to use simple words and phrases, provide short explanations, and give the person plenty of time to respond. As the disease progresses, you may need to use more gestures and facial expressions, as well as provide additional supports, such as help with decision-making.
Whatever stage of Alzheimer's your loved one is in, remember to be patient and use communication techniques that are appropriate for that stage. With patience and understanding, you can help your loved one feel comfortable, understood and help to make their journey a little bit easier..
Do you have any techniques that you use with your loved one with Alzheimer's? Let me know down below!
Until next time, xo Nikki 💋
TTYL, XOXO Nikki♥♥