Improving Dementia Patient Communication with Senior Care Services
The global distribution of dementia is staggering. In 2015, there were an estimated 46.8-million people living with dementia worldwide, with nearly 10-million of those cases occurring in North America. By 2030, there will be 74.7-million cases around the globe.
There are more than 9.9-million new cases emerging every year–that’s about one new case every 3.2 seconds (Prince et al., 2015). Accordingly, the global societal economic cost of dementia care is on the rise; between 2015-2030, it is expected to more than double, reaching over $2-trillion by 2029 (Prince et al., 2015). The United States spent $818-billion in 2015 alone.
In light of this research, there has never been a better time to focus on ways to improve the day-to-day life of those living with dementia. Fortunately, it’s never been easier: ABC Clinton Township offers a whole spectrum of dementia-focused senior care services that can be customized to fit your loved ones specific needs, preferences, and budget.
But even if you’re not ready for our senior care services, Always Best Care Clinton Township wants to help. And that’s why we’ve put together some communication tips to help those caring for their aging parents. After all, one of the best ways to improve quality of life for both caregiver and dementia patient is to promote open and patient communication.
After reading these tips, you’ll be better equipped to identify your loved ones care needs, put your aging parent at ease, and talk your way through everyday conflicts.
Communication Tips for Dementia Caregivers
- Set a positive tone for every interaction. Try to make every interaction pleasant and respectful. Be mindful of your tone of voice and body language–these convey your feelings and thoughts more strongly than words.
- Promote your parent’s focus. Set your parent up for success when it comes to giving you their full attention. Limit distractions and noise–switch off the TV, close the curtain, or move to a quiet area before any important talks. Address your parent by their name and offer some gentle touches to keep them engaged. Try to maintain eye contact and mirror their body language–if they’re seated, get down to eye level.
- Keep your message clear and concise. Use simple words and sentences, and speak slowly. If your parent struggles to understand, repeat yourself with the same patient tone you led with. If that doesn’t work, try waiting a few minutes, then rephrasing the question or statement.
- Ask simple, close-ended questions. Sometimes the best way to move forward with things is to limit yourself to close-ended questions that are answered with a simple yes or no. Visual cues are useful here; if you’re deciding between two things, show your parent both choices and ask them to pick.
- Default to affection and reassurance. If your parent seems confused or anxious during an interaction, don’t try to convince them they’re wrong. Instead, focus on their feelings during the exchange–which are real, even if their thoughts are confused–and respond to them with verbal and physical expressions of love and support.
Improve Communication With Senior Care Services
Talking with a loved one living with dementia can assuage their anxiety, ground them in reality, help maintain social skills and cognitive function, and provide a sense of pleasant nostalgia. Our dementia-focused senior care services ensure your parent is happy, safe, and comfortable, and also give your loved one more opportunities to flex their social skills.
To learn more about our dementia-focused senior care services in Clinton Township, Michigan, visit https://www.alwaysbestcare.com/mi/chesterfield/ to book a free care consultation.
Prince, M., Wimo, A., Guerchet, M., Ali, G. C., Wu, Y. T., &Prina, M. (2015). The global impact of dementia. World Alzheimer Report, 1-82. Retrieved from https://www.alz.co.uk/sites/default/files/conf2016/pl12-martin-prince-the-global-impact-of-dementia.pdf