When one suffers from dementia, their communication skills are compromised. Because of this, family members often have a difficult time conversing with the person. If you find yourself in a similar situation, considering applying the following tips the next time you visit your loved one in a residential aged care facility.
There are plenty of ways for you to create a positive atmosphere when talking to your loved one. The venue will of course play an important role in this regard, but more important than that is how you approach the conversation. That said, be genuinely happy to meet and talk to your loved one when you visit them. Give them a warm smile and show them that you’re really there to talk to them. Show them that your visit is borne by love and care and not merely because you’re obliged to be there.
Older people who are suffering from dementia are often easily irritated by noise. Thus, look for a quiet spot in the high care facility where you can talk. This can be in the garden, the porch or veranda, or even a quiet corner in the lounge. If there are any distracting background noises, move to a different venue or simply close the door.
An important factor to having an enjoyable conversation with a loved one with dementia is how you speak. Remember, not only do they have dementia, but they may also be suffering from difficulty in hearing. Thus, it is important that you speak in a slow and clear manner. Sometimes, you may even find that you need to repeat something that you just said.
If you’re used to asking so throwing one question after another, you’ll want to take a different approach this time. You should ask only one question at a time, and put off follow-up questions until they’ve answered the first one. You should also consider asking questions that will require only a “yes” or “no” answer. Asking them questions with multiple answers can lead to confusion, which will only irritate and frustrate them.
When talking to someone with dementia, you’ll notice that it takes them some time before they can respond. Sometimes, it can take someone up to a minute or even more before they can process your question. And sometimes, it can take them longer to find the right answer and formulate a response. If this is the case, just be patient and wait for their answer. If they’re having a hard time answering, you can give them some keywords that can help them.
Talking to a loved one suffering from dementia can be challenging, but this shouldn’t stop you from having a conversation with them. Just keep the above tips in mind when visiting your loved one in the facility that offers high care in South West. Be patient and stay positive, and you may be surprised how fun the conversation can get.
For more information on our age care services, contact Residential Gardens today.