Assisted Living Dunwoody Offers 10 Tips for Communicating with a Parent in Memory Care
on February 27th, 2019 in Dunwoody, GA | No Comments
Communication is Key: Assisted Living Dunwoody Shares These Suggestions
We know you love and care for your parents. Transitioning into a new phase of life always takes difficult adjustments, especially when your parent’s capabilities change. Everyday life can suddenly change – all the way down to the small details such as talking. Communicating with your parent who suffers from memory loss can be difficult, which is why our assisted living Dunwoody specialists are here to give you a few tips to make the conversation easier.
Top 10 Recommendations for Communicating with a Parent in Memory Care, Advice from Assisted Living Dunwoody
1. Recognize the Signs of Memory Loss
Maybe your parent hasn’t been properly diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Recognizing the signs of memory loss can be the first step that’s needed to start the process of getting them help. Noticing that their communication abilities have changed or weakened, they forget where things are placed, and they experience a change in mood could suggest that your parent is in need of help for memory loss. For more information on signs of memory loss, refer to alz.org and seek proper help as needed with assisted living Dunwoody.
2. Be Patient
Now is not the time to be in a rush. Conversations that, at one point in time, took only moments might take several minutes these days. Stay on a topic, point or story until it is complete. As we’ll address in later points, you may need to facilitate the conversation a bit more than you’re used to. Bring up constructive – yet simple – questions that push the conversation forward. By being patient and taking the time to help your parent dive deeper into their memory, you might pull out information that otherwise wouldn’t have come up.
3. Don’t Focus on Small Mistakes
When conversing with your parent, they might recall a story that veers from the truth. Minor details like what outfit someone was wearing might be misremembered. If the error doesn’t necessarily alter the plot, then don’t point out the inaccuracy. Of course, if the story starts to deviate heavily from the truth, make intentional and helpful moves that will allow your parent to correctly recall the story.
4. Try to Trigger Memories
With intentional talking points and constructive questions along the way, you can help activate and jog your parent’s memory. Keep in mind that you should be patient through this. Usually, sprinkling in hints throughout a conversation rather than all at once is more beneficial. Almost like leaving a breadcrumb trail, scatter them throughout the trail rather than leaving a pile at one time. Also, keep in mind that a memory can be triggered by all senses. Smells, tastes, sights and sounds can all help bring out a memory.
5. Be Simple
When talking with someone who suffers from memory loss, always be straightforward. Make the conversation as digestible as possible so that they have no distortion or distractions. You can keep the conversation simple by asking easy, upfront questions with not too many options.
6. Talk in a Focused Environment
At this stage of life, your parent probably will need a completely focused area to have a productive conversation. This means that you should turn off any TV, radio or phone in the room. That being said, such media devices might help further a conversation by showing a picture or a song that might help jog their memory. The point here is to reduce any distractions – avoid background noise and disturbances if possible.
7. Be Mindful of Visual Communication
During a discussion with your parent, remember that your visuals will communicate a message – whether you realize it or not. Unsettling faces, unapproachable positions and negative hand gestures might send mixed signals. Be intentional of what facial expressions you use, how your body is positioned and what your hands are doing as you speak. This can go a long way.
8. Take Breaks as Needed
A simple conversation might be strenuous at this point in their life. Don’t let tension or stress rise in the room. Know when a good time to take a break would be. Taking a few minutes to get some sunlight, enjoy a glass of water or simply changing the tone momentarily with a joke or two can help progress the conversation in a desirable direction. When returning from the break, remember where you left off previously and start anew from there.
9. Continue to Treat Them with Respect
Though dealing with a parent who has a tough time recalling memories and facts might be difficult, remain calm and focused when communicating with them. By that, we mean that you should avoid the temptation to talk to them as if they’re a child. Remember that this is the person you love, respect and care for. Speak with the same compassion and respect you’ve had your whole life – just bear in mind that it will take more patience now. This isn’t to imply that you’ve lost respect, but this is a reminder to be watchful of how the conversation is conducted.
10. It’s a Process
Don’t get discouraged. The conversation might come to a stopping point before your desired outcome is reached. Make the process slow and easy – don’t try to force everything into one day. Go as the conversation goes. Given that, make a plan and an effort to have these kinds of conversations on a regular basis. You may need to set aside time to spend time with your loved one to make progress.
Contact Dogwood Forest from the Top Assisted Living Dunwoody Community
Through therapy, diet and wellness programs, we have the tools and know-how to help your parent. The staff of our positive community is ready to make a difference. With daily activities, spacious floor plans and a 24-hour emergency call system, our Dunwoody campus is the ideal spot for your parent. Our assisted living Dunwoody community is a luxurious and positive place to live. Contact us today to learn more about our facilities and services. Call us now at 678-831-4999 to take the next step of your journey.