4. Body language
Implications and intentions can get lost in translation during a conversation, especially when you are attempting to connect with someone who has Alzheimer’s. Body language now becomes essential to conversation and can clearly relay your message. For example, eye contact shows your loved one that you are listening to them.
5. All 5 senses
People with Alzheimer’s might have a harder time understanding you through just words.
Incorporating additional senses into interactions with your loved one can help them feel comforted. Take their hand in yours while you ask a question or decorate their space with scented candles. These small, but powerful acts will create memories and a deeper connection.
6. Avoid arguing
Practice letting someone with Alzheimer’s finish his or her thoughts, regardless of whether there is truth to what is being said. Contradicting their account of the situation will result in unnecessary stress for both parties. Responding in a way that demonstrates empathy provides reassurance. You can also employ a tactic that will stop a disagreement from happening. If your loved one has made it clear they do not enjoy taking medicine, allow them to engage in a fun activity beforehand that will lighten your loved one’s mood. This can be playing a game, listening to a favorite song, or spending time outside.
While individuals with Alzheimer’s experience daily challenges, they deserve the same amount of respect as anyone else would demand. Acknowledge your loved one as an adult and not a child or a burden because their abilities have diminished. Your approach to them should support and encourage their dignity.