How do I behave with a person suffering from dementia?
1. Adapt to communication changes
You’ll notice changes in your loved one’s communication skills as their Alzheimer’s or dementia worsens. If they can’t think of words, they might say the same thing repeatedly, get confused, or have trouble remembering things. Hand gestures, losing their train of thought, and inappropriate outbursts are prevalent.
2. Keep cool.
Allow your loved one time if they are having problems memorizing a word. Anxiety or impatience will only hinder their memory. Suggest the word gently or inform them that they can remember it later.
3. Be mindful of your body language.
Your loved one is as sensitive to your facial expressions, tone of voice, and nonverbal indications as they are to the words you use. Make eye contact, be patient, and have positive body language.
4. Slow down and be clear when you talk
Use brief sentences, one at a time, and allow your loved one to comprehend what you’re saying. If they did not understand something the first time, find a more straightforward method to express it.
5. Dodge those questions that challenge their short-term memory
Questions like “Do you remember what we did last night?” The response will almost always be “no,” which can be unpleasant for anyone with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
6. Be respectful
Avoid patronizing words, “baby talk,” and sarcasm. They might get hurt or confused by it.