Ideas on How to Communicate With Your Loved One Who Has Dementia

Looking for ideas on what to do and how to communicate with your loved one who has dementia? Here are some ideas:

  • Go through photo albums with them.  It’s amazing how they light up when they see pictures from the past and can tell you stories about what happened in the picture, even as they can’t tell you what day it is, who is president or what they had for lunch.
  • Listen to music.  Study after study has shown that there are positive effects of on the mood and abilities of someone with Alzheimer’s when their favorite music is played.
  • Don’t get mad or frustrated when they repeat the same thing over and over. Try to remind yourself that the person you are visiting with has a disease and often times can’t remember what was said just a few minutes ago. So when they repeat something over and over, just respond to the question and redirect them on to a new topic.  It will only frustrate everyone if you get mad and point out that they just asked that exact same question a few minutes ago.
  • Bring a simple gift that will brighten their room/day every time they look at it.  Bright flowers. A colorful picture. A yummy treat. Try to avoid bringing gifts that are complicated to use and will just frustrate them.
  • Smile. Hold their hand. Just be there with them. 

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