Alzheimer’s disease is a condition where it gradually diminishes someone’s ability to communicate. Sometimes, it gets associated with the difficulty of expressing emotions and thoughts as well as understanding others. The condition sets out unpredictable problems not only for the patient but to the loved ones as well. Since everything about it revolves in proper handling, assisting, and communicating better, it is essential to understand one’s obligation in keeping the connection intact.
Today, 5.7 million Americans live with this disease. By 2050, that number is predicted to reach 14 million. — Mylea Charvat, Ph.D.
Things To Remember
When it comes to communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s disease, one must practice delivering words in a kind voice. One can do this by speaking slowly and clearly with a lower tone. The caregiver can also accompany the calm voice with a smile so that the patient will feel more comfortable and relaxed when talking.
In terms of getting the patient’s attention, it is essential to address the person by name. It will automatically create a comfortable feeling that allows the built-up of trust and wiliness to cooperate. Aside from that, it is essential to remember that approaching the patient in front is necessary to avoid sudden surprises that might irritate or agitate the individual with Alzheimer’s.
One thing a person is responsible for doing is allowing the patient to feel whatever he or she wants to feel. There are instances that the patient will not immediately recognize people, even if these are the ones he or she loved the most. Therefore, one must introduce himself so that the patient can have an idea of who he or she is talking to.
Many people have had the cellular abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s, but have not shown symptoms of the disease. — Michelle Braun Ph.D., ABPP-CN
It is common for most people to forget that their loved one is with mental illness. However, that is not enough reason to pressure the patient to respond to the condition accordingly. Therefore, when talking or trying to ask a question, a person must consider doing it one at a time. It is vital to use simple and short phrases so the patient can quickly catch up. Avoid logic and reason, as well as quizzes, mainly asking if the patient remembers anything about something.
Communicating with an individual with Alzheimer’s disease requires a lot of compromises. One should consider being careful about asking too many questions. Also, one should not interrupt, criticize, argue, or correct the patient. It is essential to let the patient know that his or her caregiver is listening and trying to understand. A person must keep good eye contact, polite manner, and proper gesture to ensure a comfortable situation for both individuals.
With age, it’s common for people to develop some of these buildups in the brain. But people with Alzheimer’s develop plaques and tangles in significantly greater amounts—especially in areas of the brain related to memory and other complex cognitive functions. — Michael J Breus Ph.D.
When dealing with a person with Alzheimer’s, it is essential not to take negative communication personally. The person with the condition sometimes cannot control their emotions. That is why the caregiver must manage to create the necessary adjustment. Do not take the patient’s harsh words literally and always consider understanding.
Caring for someone with the disease is not easy because it requires a lot of patience and understanding. So instead of complaining about the situation, the caregiver must improve communication to understand the patient’s needs better.