Living at Home with Dementia: Simple Conversation

Jun 4, 2018 | Uncategorized

Changes in your loved one’s health can be frustrating, confusing, and discouraging at times. If your loved one is experiencing the effects of dementia, it can be especially hard to see changes impact who you once knew them to be. You can help ease the transition to a new normal by altering your communication. Use these tips to keep conversations simple and stress free for both of you.

Though the effects of dementia may create change, we have hope. You and your loved ones can experience it, too. Learn more:

Dementia affects everyone differently. One common area that is affected is speech and understanding. Conversations may become difficult over time. So, keep it simple. The person you are talking with may only be able to process one simple thought at a time. Here are a few tips to keep your conversations simple:

  • Offer one alternative. For example, when preparing a meal, ask, “Would you like a hamburger or soup?” If going to the store, ask, “Would you like to go to the store at one or two?” For bathing, ask, “Would you like to take you bath now or after we eat?”
  • If a task requires multiple steps, such as doing the laundry, break the task into very small steps. For example, put the clothes into the washer, add the detergent, close the lid, turn the dial to wash.
  • Always speak to the person face to face. Conversations from behind or the side can be confusing.
  • Use short sentences with simple words. Rather than saying, “Remember that place we picked strawberries last year? Let’s see if they are ready,” simply say, “Let’s pick strawberries today.”

Keep your conversations to the point to help ease communication frustrations for you and your loved one. Try one or more of these tips and see what works best for you.

Written by Denis L Ashauer for