For caregivers of a loved one with dementia, one of the ongoing challenges is communication. As the brain changes due to dementia, so does the ability of the person with dementia to understand what’s said and to express thoughts and needs. One of the struggles for caregivers is finding new ways to talk to their loved one and making the shift from what’s been the norm for communication in the relationship to the new, changing normal. This article from the Alzheimer’s Association includes tips for communication and specific suggestions for structuring communication to be more effective when talking with a loved one with dementia. It also includes suggestions for changing communication as the loved one moves through the early, mid and late stages of the disease.
Caregivers: Be patient with yourself and know that learning these new techniques is trial and error and as with anything new it will take time to adjust.