A person with Alzheimer's may have a hard time understanding people or what is going on around them. Here are some communication techniques to consider:
- Approach the patient from the front
- Keep confusion, distraction, noise to a minimum
- Begin each conversation by identifying yourself and addressing the patient by name
- Speak slowly and distinctly
- Pay attention to the tone of your voice
- Use familiar words
- Explain your actions
- Ask one question at a time
- Repeat questions or information using the same phrasing
- Talk in positive terms
- Avoid expressions that patient may take literally
- Demonstrate your request
- Use names when referring to other individuals instead of he or she.
- Treat the person with dignity and respect
- Use smiles and hugs
Some tips for non-verbal communications:
- Touching is understood better then words
- Move slowly and be gentle. Be careful not to startle.
- Stand or crouch face-to-face.
- Maintain eye contact
- Observe facial expressions to note feelings
- Use facial expressions or hand gestures to demonstrate concern or how to do something.
- Assume the patients can understand more than they can express. Never talk about the patient in front of him or her.
- Move your body with the patient. Avoid pulling on patients.