7 Communication Tips for Those with Alzheimer’s Disease

Caring for a loved one can be extremely difficult, especially if you have been married for 30+ years, and it is your spouse who may need care. Try these 7 communication tips for dementia to make caregiving easier.

Oftentimes, it is married couples who are in denial and have a hard time admitting their loved one is beginning to show signs of dementia.  

These changes in cognitive function can tear apart a relationship unless you admit there is a problem and commit to learning new communication techniques. Whether you are caring for your spouse, mom, dad, or relative it is important to approach them differently since they may be suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, or other forms of dementia.  

Here are 7 quick tips to help you better communicate with the ones you love.  

  1. Never Argue, Instead Agree – “You’re right! We did eat here last time. Would you like to eat at your other favorite place?” (In your mind you know you never ate there before but your loved one doesn’t remember.) 
  2. Never Reason, Instead Divert – “Squirrel, honey do you see that big squirrel in the back yard? He’s so cute!” (Instead of trying to reason with them about who built the tree fort, just divert the conversation.) 
  3. Never Lecture, Instead Distract – “Do you want to play checkers now?” (Instead of telling your loved ones and lecturing them on how to play chess, distract them with a different game they can easily play.) 
  4. Never Say “Remember,” Instead Reminisce – “I’ll never forget the day we met, the first time you took me on a date to that one place on the water and our honeymoon was perfect. (Instead of saying don’t you remember where we went on our first date? How could you forget?) 
  5. Never Say “I Told You, Instead, Repeat” – “Yes, tomorrow we have an appt with Dr. Stevenson. Honey today we have an appointment with Dr. Stevenson.” (Instead of saying I told you this yesterday, you just simply repeat your statement.) 
  6. Never Say “You Can’t,” Instead Say What They Can – “Yes, you can go to the store with me after breakfast.” (Instead of saying you can’t go to the store until you do this.) 
  7. Never Command or Demand, Instead Ask – “Will you come to have dinner with me?” (Instead of telling your loved one to sit down at the table for dinner you ask them to have dinner with you or ask them to help set the table.)   

Hopefully, you can put these 7 tips to use if you are having a difficult time caring for your loved one. It might be a good idea to print them and keep a copy on the refrigerator.  

As the primary family caregiver, it is important that you take time for yourself so please do not be afraid to ask for help. If you are looking for care for yourself or a loved one, give us a call at (941) 676-3411, or visit us online at www.ActivAgeCare.com!

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