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Tips for Talking with Seniors with Memory Loss

Some adult children have a hard time communicating with senior loved ones who have memory loss simply because they are unsure how. As a leading provider of Bridgewater dementia care, we know taking a compassionate approach and remembering to remain centered as you provide new information or listen to your loved one’s concerns will go long way towards seamless communication. At times, you may feel frustrated by repeated questions or a loved one’s confusion, but there are several effective tips that will help you to pave the way for easy communication with your senior loved one.

Use Direct Language

Depending upon the level of your loved one’s memory loss, they may not be able to maintain focus during long dialogues. Instead, choose short, simple sentences that get straight to the point. If you need to repeat something, make sure to use the same words that were used before. You should also focus on providing only one message at a time, and make sure that your loved one comprehends before moving on to the next.

Step into Their World

People with memory loss may not always be fully aware of reality. It may seem as though reminding them that they are living in the present will be beneficial, but it often leads to frustration. Instead, try accepting your loved one’s view of the world and simply listen as they reminisce on past times. Long-term memory is often easier to access, and many patients with memory loss find it comforting to relive some of their favorite moments.

Engage Their Senses

Communication takes place through more than just words. Pay attention to the body language and vocal tones you use when speaking to your loved one. Try to maintain a relaxed expression and consider using visual cues as you speak. For example, pointing to a calendar could serve as a reminder that they have a doctor appointment. Favorite songs, scents and flavors can also be used to enhance your loved one’s memory during a conversation. Finally, remember to always speak from a place that respects your loved one’s values so that communication can remain open.

There is plenty you can do to remain in happy communication with a senior loved one who has memory loss. You can also reach out to Bridgewater home care provider Home Care Assistance for more helpful tips on keeping the lines of communication open, or to a find a qualified dementia caregiver for your loved one. Each HCA caregiver is expertly trained in the Cognitive Therapeutics Method, which helps slow cognitive decline through an activities-based program. Learn more by calling (908) 450-9400. Our experienced Care Managers are happy to help and can schedule a free in-home consultation at your earliest convenience.