Communication Tips to Consider for Dementia Caregivers
Working in one of the dementia care facilities in San Antonio can be daunting, as you will be dealing with residents who are experiencing memory loss and sudden changes in their behavior. It can be stressful for you, too, especially if you are a caregiver to a person who has dementia. As the condition progresses, the person’s ability to communicate will change, often becoming impaired and causing confusion, stress, and frustration. Here are some tips on improving communication lines:
- Understand the person’s manner of communication and the changes in it – The exact progression of dementia will differ from one person to another, but it is typical for them to stammer as they are unable to find the right words to express themselves. They may repeat stories, become disorganized in their speech, or lose track of their thoughts, too. Some residents in dementia care facilities in San Antonio may speak less, talk in another language (i.e. their native tongue), or invent new words or speak in tangents.
- Keep in mind that they still have feelings – Regardless of how they communicate, remember that they still experience emotions and feelings. They may have difficulty understanding you, but they may still be able to respond. Avoid showing frustration and stress, and do not feel irritated or anxious around them. Be patient and remain empathetic. Address them using their first name and avoid using negative statements that could hurt their feelings.
- Do not take it personally – Residents in dementia care facilities in San Antonio may say things they do not really mean. At times, they may act accusatory or paranoid, too. The best thing to do is to let it slide, even if you hear offensive language. Try to divert their attention if they start using bad language.
- Encourage reminiscing – Support them when they are looking back fondly at their memories, but avoid triggering negative thoughts.