Today, we will be talking about three tips that will help you to communicate with your loved one. When it comes to Alzheimer’s, we communicate with our loved ones to highlight their difficulties and make it harder for them to respond. When this happens, the conversation gets stopped before it even gets started.
This can also lead to frustration from the caregiver’s perspective since they cannot engage or have a conversation with their loved one. It can also be frustrating for your loved one, who is not sure of how to respond or doesn’t know what you’re asking. Therefore, these tips will not only help with the conversation, but it can also help improve relationships between the caregiver and their loved one.
When Asking Questions, Give Them the Answer in the Question
When you’re asking a loved one who has Alzheimer’s a question, try and include the answer within the question you’re asking. Therefore, if they don’t know the answer, they have the answer in the question, and it won’t seem like you’re testing their memory. Sometimes caregivers want to test their loved ones’ memories to see how much they remember, which can lead to frustration.
For example, instead of saying, “what did you have for lunch today”? You could say something along the lines of “did you enjoy the turkey sandwich that you had for lunch today”? Using this method, you provided the answer in the question that way if they don’t remember what they had for lunch, it’s okay because you just provided them with the answer. This is a great way to help your loved one save face. A lot of times unintentionally, when we try and talk to our loved ones who have Alzheimer’s, caregivers can ask questions their loved ones don’t know, or they have to make up an answer.
Therefore, a caregiver can phrase their questions to make it as easy as possible to have a pleasant conversation with them. You can also use this approach when you’re trying to get information from them about what they want.
Don’t Tell Them What Not to Do, Instead Tell Them What to Do
This might seem like a straightforward tip, but it makes a lot of difference. Often, when caregivers see their loved ones struggling with something or doing something incorrectly, it’s easy for the caregiver to say, “Stop that and do it differently.” However, you want to try and avoid that and not highlight what they are doing wrong.
As a caregiver, you want to save face with your loved one and help them with the conversations and relationships with them. For instance, you could say, “why don’t you try it this way or how about you give this a try.” Therefore, you’re leaving out the part of “no, don’t try it that way.”
A lot of times with Alzheimer’s, they are doing something wrong. With that said, that kind of negativity can wear away at your relationship with your loved one. So, make sure to leave out the part of them being wrong, and inform them of what to do instead.
Go Back to Their Childhood to Spark Their Remaining Memories
To keep an engaging conversation going with your loved one, you could ask them about their first car, how was their wedding, or ask them about their childhood best friend. Asking your loved one questions from their childhood will result in a lot of success and keep the conversation going. However, when you’re asking questions about childhood, you want to make sure that you’re avoiding any hot topic questions that would trigger any emotional trauma.
For example, if your loved one is continually getting up and talking about going to work, and you have to remind them that they don’t have a job. Then, that would be a topic you should avoid because it would remind them of the daily routine they can no longer do. Therefore, if you know what specifically triggers your loved one, then you will be able to avoid that.
When caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s, it’s essential to use these three tips to create conversations and interactions with your loved ones. Remember that you want to save face and prevent them from feeling frustrated and unable to answer your questions. Then, you also want to focus on the aspect of having a positive relationship with your loved one as the disease progresses. The tips provided above can start helping you today. Lastly, when it comes to Alzheimer’s care in Port Charlotte, Granny Nannies of Port Charlotte is the best solution for senior in-home care.