People who live with dementia may have a hard time processing language. There are several things we can do that will make caring for them easier for you and them. Here are some helpful tips that can help:
- Try speaking more slowly and use fewer words – Caregivers often find themselves having to repeat themselves. In many cases it’s not due to hearing loss, but to the person living with dementia, not being able to process all the words being spoken to them.
- Give instructions on step at a time and use as few words as possible – People living with dementia may be experiencing trouble following a set of directions. Caregivers may think that the individual is being defiant, but most often than not are having issues understanding what is being asked of them.
- When providing care use visual cues, speak slowly and use as few words as possible – It may seem that a person with dementia is resisting care, but your loved one may be having a hard time understanding what you are attempting to do. Giving visual cues along with using fewer words and speaking slowly will allow for the person with dementia to better understand is is happening. If the person living with dementia is missing some of the words, then they are more likely to become confused, alarmed or startled when a caregiver is trying to remove their clothing or touch them. In turn, they may strike out in self-defense.
- Eat at quieter restaurants – Noisy restaurants make it much harder for a person with dementia to process language.
Understanding that a loved one is experiencing trouble understanding words and knowing what we can do to make it easier for them is important. Behaviors are directly linked to the inability to process language. The way in which we approach a situation can reduce stress for yourself and your loved one with dementia.
Social Distancing: Activities From Home
As we continue to social distance, it’s important to find things to keep your mind active. Many of us also miss seeing and being in nature. We are fortunate to live in a time where we can bring nature to us. Bonus: Many are free!! Here are a few links to some of our favorites we think your loved ones will enjoy:
→The San Diego Zoo
→The Smithsonian’s National Zoo
→Monterey Bay Aquarium