Communication tips reduce difficult Alzheimer’s behaviors
When your older adult gets angry, agitated, or refuses help, it makes your daily life even harder. New communication styles can help you reduce difficult Alzheimer’s behavior and improve quality of life for both you and your older adult.
We found a free Alzheimer’s Association webinar full of useful communication tips that have worked in countless real-life situations. The tips are shared through stories from real caregiver experiences so it’s interesting and easy to follow.
Get proven dementia care tips from real stories
This Compassionate Communication webinar is a free video you can watch anytime. In it, Alexandra Morris shares tips for how to talk with seniors with dementia. Her techniques encourage calm and positive behavior.
Alexandra is a gerontologist who’s been solving tough Alzheimer’s care situations for 17 years at the Alzheimer’s Association. She’s seen almost everything and really gets what caregivers are up against. Her talk is full of stories of families she’s helped and the hard problems they’ve solved.
It’s like listening to a good friend who also happens to be an expert in communicating and caring for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. She uses plain language and explains how symptoms often show up in real life.
This video is helpful to both new and experienced caregivers. It’s full of creative ideas and role-playing scenarios where you can see how changing your responses can change your senior’s behavior.
DailyCaring tip: Alexandra sometimes uses the term “perseverance” or “perseverating.” That’s when someone keeps trying to do something even though it’s too difficult and they’re not able to succeed.
Overview of Compassionate Communication webinar
This video covers solutions for dozens of common care scenarios. It’s about an hour long so, as a busy caregiver, it might be more realistic to watch a little at a time. Online videos are handy because you can watch on your smartphone or computer when you have a few minutes.
We’ve outlined the major sections and when they start in the video. That way, you can skip around and watch the parts you’re most interested in. Alexandra is a natural storyteller and illustrates every point with scenarios and role playing that bring the techniques to life.
- Understand how the disease works and how it affects your senior.
10 minutes 50 seconds
- Prevent and reduce difficult behaviors like refusing help, anxiety, wanting to overfeed pets, and more.
- Learn different communication methods like using body language, staying very calm, softening your words, and being flexible.
- Their environment affects someone with dementia.
- Adjust your approach, think ahead about tough situations, and let some things go.
- Match activities to abilities, break things down to small tasks.
- Choose kindness over truth if you can’t do both.
- Using humor appropriately.
47 minutes 30 seconds
- A list of key Do’s and Don’ts with plenty of helpful examples.
Using common situations, Alexandra role plays 7 scenarios that illustrate how the Do’s and Don’ts work in practice.
- Why do I have to go to the doctor? What’s wrong with me?
- I didn’t write this check for $500. Somebody is forging my signature!
- Nobody is going to make decisions for me. You can go now…and don’t come back!
- Who are you and where’s my husband?!
- I’m not eating this. I hate chicken!
59 minutes 15 seconds
- How to figure why difficult or worrying dementia behavior is happening — being the detective.
- Prioritizing what needs to be solved.
- Removing behavior triggers.
1 hour 2 minutes 20 seconds
- Get a summary of essential techniques with more real-life examples of how they defuse tough situations.
1 hour 6 minutes 30 seconds
Alexandra talks about the Alzheimer’s Association’s services (most are free), including:
- 24/7 helpline
- Coaching families through tough situations on a case-by-case basis
- Support groups for families and for those with early stage dementia
- Medic alert safe return bracelet program for wandering
- Connecting people with research trials (whether you’re healthy or have a health condition)
You might also like:
— Why Experts Recommend Lying to Someone with Dementia
— Difficult Alzheimer’s Behavior: Dementia Experts Answer 4 Top Questions
— 4 Ways to Respond When Someone with Alzheimer’s Keeps Repeating Questions
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Home Instead UK
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