Dementia Facts

During conversations with a loved one, keep distractions to a minimum. Maintain eye contact and use your calm voice to converse. Try to engage your loved one’s senses, such as smell and body language. While they may not be able to respond, their body language will communicate your intentions. When possible, try to keep a sense of humor. Make sure you provide comfort, support, and friendship.

Often, behavior changes occur in the middle stages of dementia. Some troubling behaviors include wandering, aggressiveness, hallucinations, and problems with eating and sleeping. Caregiver stress and the environment can exacerbate these behaviors. Changing these environments may improve your caregiving experience. Below are some tips to engage with your loved one. If you are unsure of how to engage with your loved one, ask a professional for help. Check this weblink

Speak slowly and in simple sentences. Remember that people with dementia can have difficulty communicating. Hold hands while talking, and use nonverbal cues to help them understand you. Avoid asking questions that challenge their short-term memory. Questions like “Do you remember what we did last night?” may cause confusion and anxiety. It’s also important not to use sarcastic or patronizing language. Remember that your loved one may be confused or distracted, so use words that convey your love and concern.

Activities should include your loved one on whatever level they are capable of. For instance, you could engage with puzzles, picture books, music, or dancing. Other activities may be a good distraction from troublesome behaviors. If you’re concerned about your loved one’s mood, try to include them in activities, such as reading a book or playing a game. It is important to keep in mind that words used by people with dementia can be confusing and ambiguous.

Tactics can bring up memories that are not easily accessed by pictures or verbal prompts. For example, your loved one might remember playing the piano or a guitar or even a skein of yarn. A person with dementia may still be able to play simple instruments, such as a tambourine or a maraca. If you can’t see their movements, try allowing them to make the sounds and play the instruments, such as singing nursery rhymes.

A person with dementia may also want to engage in sexual activities with someone else. While they may need someone to meet their physical intimacy needs, a partner with Alzheimer’s disease may need support and understanding. As you can imagine, relationships are complex. Changing them during the course of the disease can be a very difficult process. While discussing intimacy is difficult, discussing sexuality may be a good way to begin a conversation.