Communicating with people with Alzheimer’s is challenging
Over time, older adults with Alzheimer’s disease lose cognitive function and their ability to communicate. This is devastating on so many levels. It’s also a huge source of frustration and stress for both seniors and caregivers.
Study finds new ways to communicate and connect
A study takes a new approach to communication and helps couples affected by Alzheimer’s connect in meaningful ways. Maintaining that personal bond improves quality of life for both people.
In the study, couples got coaching in how to communicate. Caregivers learned to listen, to avoid arguing, and to not treat their spouse like a child.
This applies to all Alzheimer’s caregivers
Even though this study is about couples, these findings certainly apply to other family members or close friends. Learning ways to communicate that make both people feel good is a universal need.
The communication style that works
The study found 10 communication patterns that caregiving spouses used to connect with their partner and show affection.
Successful communication styles included:
- Sharing news about friends or relatives or plans for the day as a way to involve their spouse in day-to-day events.
- Waiting patiently and keeping eye contact while spouses searched for words
- Finding alternate ways to communicate – for example, singing songs together when attempts to engage the spouse in certain topics failed.
How caregivers benefited from the new style
After learning these new ways to communicate, the caregivers valued their partner’s effort to communicate as much as or more than the actual conversation. That means, what was being said wasn’t as important as the meaning behind the words. It was most important to “value the relationship more than being right.”
Next Step Read the full story at the Boston Globe
You might also like:
— The ONE Alzheimer’s Care Tip That Will Change Your Life
— 3 Ways to Respond When Someone with Alzheimer’s Says I Want to Go Home
— Dealing with Difficult Alzheimer’s and Dementia Symptoms
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Best Alzheimer’s Products