Communication with a person with Alzheimer’s requires patience, understanding, and good listening skills. Typically with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, people lose short term memory first but are still able to recall older memories.
It is best to also incorporate visual cues. A colorful stimulation can have the added benefit of stimulating a memory. For example a picture or drawing of a sunset or rainbow might dredge up a memory of a similar sunset or rainbow in person’s past and what happened at that time. A care provider can then prompt conversation by asking questions. In addition, participating in activities that stimulate the brain will:
- Decrease irritability
- Decrease anxiety
- Build connections with people
- Arouse memories
Communication is key; utilizing open-ended questions is an important tool to stimulate wider conversations and memories while providing an opportunity to tell their unique life stories. It is a way to talk easily about things they DO remember.
Medical science currently has no cure for Alzheimer’s or Dementia, but right now, the pleasures of fond memories and real companionship can add moments of joy into a senior’s life.
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, observed in June and sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, is a time to shine a purple light for the millions of individuals, family members and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month in June is a chance for the Alzheimer’s Association to hold a global conversation about the brain, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia requires a person-centered approach that is specific to your loved one’s needs. Whether at home or in a memory care facility, professional caregivers can provide your loved one with the on-going support they need and can act in a partnership capacity with the care facility and the family.