Healthy Living

Communicating with an Alzheimer's Patient

Communicating with an Alzheimer's Patient

Many aspects have been focused on and taken into consideration when it comes to Alzheimer's research. Additional studies that support and give a better understanding, list acceptance, and encourage a positive outlook are important for those with Alzheimer's. Although the disease does indeed progress with time, keeping a positive outlook and keeping up with simple communications can be very beneficial. Keeping up with a better outlook is almost always easier said than done. Time and time again, Alzheimer's patients and caregivers are given the same advice, feeling as if no new options are available. It may seem counter intuitive and stressful to some when it comes to planning for the future, but it can give a sense of comfort and peace of mind when compared to treating each day as a truly new experience. While taking the time each day to experience something new can be important, creating a routine and trying out different methods of care throughout the process can be more than beneficial.

Research And Studies On Communication Changes In Alzheimer's Patients

The changes created throughout the brain caused by Alzheimer's disease can vary in each individual, but there are important changes in communication that patients and caregivers should remain aware of. Not assuming and taking personal accounts too personally is more often than not a struggle some take to heart. Even if someone has taken little preventative care and forgone addressing their cognitive state without many issues, this will not be the case with every individual. In addition to this, it is vital to remember that not every patient experiences memory loss and delays at a rapid pace. Giving time to address issues at a familiar and steady pace could assist in avoiding miscommunication issues and missteps along the way for patients and caregivers alike. Speaking directly and clearly to a patient with Alzheimer's is another suggested tip by the Alzheimer's Association. Avoid complicated topics that have been shown to confuse individuals with memory related diseases. Never make a guess at how someone can communicate simply based upon their stage and diagnosis. Individuals in even early stages can experience extreme anxiety, depression, further memory loss, and other issues that some might simply associate with later stages. In turn, those who are in later stages could very well still have ways of communicating. Some patients might prefer face to face, over the phone, letters, emails, or any other preferred method of communication. Encouraging honesty is a wonderful way to open up communication that is genuine and sincere. Avoid nitpicking and over analyzing details of the situation that is frustrating someone with Alzheimer's. Knowing what someone is up against can open up a better understanding, but never make assumptions about where someone is based upon simply their stage without further knowledge.

Some might find it better to simply ignore issues that they are facing on a day to day basis. Reminders of the cognitive decline are never easy, but opening up about how a healthcare professional or a certain activity could assist remains vital, as indicated by multiple studies. In any stage, it is important to not brush off problems, although the middle and later stages are generally more focused upon maintaining eye contact and being supportive. Using gestures that are familiar can be a great way to make certain that an individual with Alzheimer's has the best chance of understanding what is being said. Treating an individual with decency and respect through all stages is one of the most important pieces of advice offered by healthcare professionals. Caregivers are not the only ones who should remain aware of professional advice regarding communication between Alzheimer's patients. Family and friends who might just come in passing should remain sensitive to the needs and find out information from caregivers beforehand if care has been needed at any stage. Never bring up personal issues with an individual unless that relationship has been established with full consent. Remaining in contact as a supportive role is of growing importance as the stages continue.

Alzheimer's Related Symptoms To Remain Aware Of And Avoiding Sensitive Topics

It can be alarming to someone who finds out that they are facing any given stage of Alzheimer's disease. Even if someone doesn't quite know what to say to an individual with memory loss related diseases, the simple presence, friendship, caring attitude, and company can be enough. It is a common misconception, however, that people with Alzheimer's disease and other memory related issues seek out company all the time. Sometimes, a quiet evening in is what someone could be seeking. Too much company or conversation at once can be an overwhelming feeling for any individual throughout all the stages. While keeping in touch is definitely encouraged, keeping in mind that privacy is still very much valued is key in keeping a healthy and positive outlook. Look for places to talk that are not overwhelming for an individual based upon their current stage and the symptoms they are facing. Avoid making an individual feel frustrated, as a setting they once felt comfortable talking in could no longer offer the same amount of comfort. An atmosphere that is quiet and comforting are the suggested options. Multiple topics all at once can be confusing, even if the topics might seem related to a caregiver, family, friend, or a healthcare professional. Sometimes, these roles are taken on by one person. In addition to understanding someone with Alzheimer's, individuals with caregivers should be consulted before imposing a conversation of a new topic or trying out something new that needs medical advice. Sometimes family and friends might mean well, but a healthcare professional and/or caregiver have a closer health relationship with the patient than others.

Noting A Change In Communication

During any stage of Alzheimer's disease, discussing formerly loved topics can be a newfound source of confusion. This can be frustrating for the patient. Noticing changes in communication and keeping up patience is important in keeping up a healthy focus on life. When noting changes in communication, making sure to give the individual plenty of time to think about what they are looking to say. Cutting them off or trying to rush them can cause frustration and set back progress for many people suffering with memory related issues. Nonverbal gestures can be a large part of maintaining contact with an Alzheimer's patient at any given stage of the disease. Keeping eye contact and smiling are some of the only options that later term patients may have. Listening to what someone has to say instead of talking a lot can be a greater comfort for some. When listening actively to a person with memory loss, always keep in mind that a great response is not always needed . Informing an individual that you do not understand them numerous times and critical remarks can cause unneeded stress. When talking to anyone with a cognitive related disease, know that some days will be better than others. Remaining a supporting role throughout can be a source of comfort as the disease progresses. Keeping a calm demeanor and a patient attitude can help many people with Alzheimer's better understand the meaning of a message and above all else, offer a source of comfort in not feeling pressured.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/whats-the-best-way-to-talk-to-someone-with-alzheimers/2016/05/27/b6ac5246-032d-11e6-9203-7b8670959b88_story.html?utm_term=.181e485e380d

https://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/article/tips-communicating-person-who-has-alzheimers-disease

https://www.alz.org/care/dementia-communication-tips.asp

http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/communication-with-a-loved-one-with-dementia/