If you are fortunate enough to have one or both parents alive and present in your life, then you want to ensure they are both happy and healthy.
When a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or another dementia-related illness, keeping a close, active, and intimate relationship between you is vital.
With that being said, here is how to communicate and converse with a parent who has Alzheimer’s disease.
Be Aware of What to Expect
Firstly, to maintain good and mutually-beneficial communication and conversation, it is first necessary to make yourself and indeed, other members of the family, aware of common conversational patterns in people who are living with Alzheimer’s disease, which include:
- Repeating phrases, words, or questions.
- Using their native language.
- Malapropisms and other word substitutions.
- Losing their train of thought numerous times in one conversation.
- Describing something, rather than giving you the correct name.
- Listening, rather than speaking.
Naturally, everyone who is living with dementia reacts and adapts accordingly and it is also worth bearing this in mind.
Keep a Positive Outlook for the Future
Unfortunately, you will no doubt already be fully aware that memory-based illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, tend to be progressive, which is why any talk of the future and specifically, how your parent wants their treatment and care to continue is important.
Perhaps one of the most beneficial to your cherished parent in terms of future options is to consider relocating to thriving memory care in Hunters Creek, which will ensure your loved one is cared for whilst still being encouraged to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.
Stick to Questions with a Simple Answer
A hugely important tip when talking to a parent, family member, close friend, or other loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, is to not bombard them with questions and, more specifically, when you do ask them a question, to keep it short and simple.
Focusing on your loved one’s response is a good way of keeping them interested and concentrating on the conversation and, of course, is an easier and more enjoyable way of interacting. Where possible, phrase any question, whether it be something you want to know, or else you are offering them coffee or simply making conversation, so just a simple yes or no answer is required.
Your Body Language
As important as the words you use when communicating and indeed the sentences you construct are, you should also begin to be mindful of your body language.
Repeat their name, or indeed ‘mum’, ‘dad’ etc., regularly when talking to them and stopping any other thing you are doing to focus on them entirely, whilst touching their arm repeatedly are all good tips to help put your loved one at ease.
In addition, maintain eye contact (without coming across as creepy, of course), smile genuinely and often, use gestures to demonstrate what you are saying in visual terms, and even consider using pictures and photographs as references.