Communicating with Love – Loving Them Throughout the Dementia Journey

As dementia settles in, the person you love will typically get frustrated and struggle with the effects of the disease and their ability to manage it. They begin to realize that it is no longer easy to perform tasks that were common and every-day. This often leads to depression, anxiety and anger.  

My mom was so anxious at the onset of her dementia.  As a family, we hadn’t been taught how to cope and her anxiety was met with our own.  

By leading Fit Minds, I came to understand the importance of building her self-confidence. In this post, I’m going to discuss one common behavior challenge, confusion, and offer some tips for dealing with this behavior. 

One of the most common problems associated with dementia is confusion. As the disease progresses, the brain’s ability to smoothly transmit information is compromised. We commonly refer to this as “background noise” and it makes it difficult for the individual to focus and process information. Here are some ways to reduce confusion: 

  • Provide a night light to help the individual see and locate familiar things. This prevents falls in the dark and protects against wandering.
  • Use communication techniques rich in reminders, cues, gestures and physical guidance to increase their personal awareness. For example, you could say, “Hi Mom, how are you this beautiful Monday morning?” Your mother would then know it was Monday and that it was morning.

Remember, this is not a contest to see how much they can remember on their own. The more cues you can give them, the more confidence they will have in operating in their environment. 

– Janet

 

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