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Encouraging Communication with Alzheimer’s Patients

Caregivers need to understand how to listen to and communicate with their Alzheimer’s patients. This is essential for understanding their needs and developing a friendly relationship between caregiver and client. Make your caregivers aware of these simple steps.

  • Be Patient. Alzheimer’s patients may have difficulty finding the right words to describe what they are thinking. They may stay silent when they are trying to organize the words in their head.
  • Eliminate Distractions. The tv, phone, magazines, etc. may be inappropriate to use when conversing with your client. If your client is talking during a movie, turn the volume down. If you are on the phone, tell the person to hold for a couple of minutes.
  • Agree to Disagree. Expect that the opinions, habits, and interests of your client will be vastly different from yourself.
  • Be Reassuring. Alzheimer’s patients may be tempted to give up on communicating because of frustration or anxiety. Encourage your clients to speak their mind in their own words and that what they have to say is important to you.
  • Be Positive. Remember to smile when you listen to your clients! Expand on positive statements that your clients bring up.
  • Take Interest in Feelings. Emotions may be some of the easiest subjects for a client to express because they experience them daily. Highlight a good day or when you catch your client smiling or laughing.
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