Tips for Engaging with Alzheimer’s Patients
Whether you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or if you’re a caregiver looking after a patient, it can be challenging to care for someone with memory loss. While Alzheimer’s Disease has varying stages, many patients start to find themselves losing train of thought, have difficulty finding the right words, and even start to speak less often. We’re sharing some tips to help you engage with Alzheimer patients and minimize communication challenges.
It’s easy for Alzheimer’s patients to get overwhelmed and confused. To reduce this, talk slowly and clearly while making eye-contact with the patient. If possible, try to minimize distractions and background noise - such as pausing music or the TV while speaking.
It can take a bit more time for Alzheimer’s patients to process what they’re hearing and how they want to respond. Be patient in waiting for their response and offer reassurance. Don’t interrupt them but instead encourage them to take their time in responding.
Rather than asking open ended questions, ask questions with direct or yes and no answers. For example, rather than asking what do you want to do today? Ask, would you rather go for a walk or start a puzzle? This helps the patient to be less overwhelmed and easily answer.
While the challenges of communicating with someone suffering from memory loss are always evolving, we hope these tips help to ease frustrations and improve communication. Remember to be patient and don’t hesitate to get help if needed. New Horizons has caregivers highly trained in caring for those with memory loss - call us today for a free consultation.