6 tips for communicating with someone with dementia

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease play a huge role in decreasing one's ability to communicate. As a carer, you will notice serious changes in communication over time in the person you're caring for. Fortunately, there are many tips in making discussion easier for both of you.

Communication provides an important bond between people and also promotes a sense of identity. For someone dealing with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, the ability to communicate diminishes over time. The Alzheimer's Association stated that people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia have difficulty expressing themselves and understanding the thoughts and emotions of others. As a carer, communicating with the one you're caring for requires respect, patience and understanding.

It's important to be aware of the changes in communication and how to ease this decline. Here are nine communication tips to help make sure that you both understand each other.

1. Be patient - Show the person you're caring for support and patience while communicating. Let them know that you're listening and making a point to understand them. Make certain they know that you care and be sure not to interrupt - this may hurt their feelings.

2. Offer reassurance - If they are having problems communicating and begin to get upset over it, let them know it's okay. Be comforting and encourage them to keep talking to explain their feelings.

 -  As a carer, it's crucial not to argue with someone dealing with Alzheimer's or dementia. If they say something you disapprove of or disagree with, ignore it and move on. Starting an argument can lead to frustration or resentment. Show the one you're caring for respect, patience and understanding while communicating. Show the one you're caring for respect, patience and understanding while communicating.

4. Ask closed-ended questions - Helpguide suggested asking questions that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no". This can help make the conversation easier on them and it can avoid confusion they may face in answering a complicated question.

5. Use a simple statement - If the one you're caring for doesn't understand something you said, try rephrasing the sentence. Use fewer words that mean the same thing.

6. Use repetition - Repeating yourself over and over can help someone with Alzheimer's or dementia stay focused on the conversation. Use someone's name instead of using "he" or "she" to avoid confusion.