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Tips for Communicating with a Loved One with Dementia

Karen Stobbe and Mondy Carter, who provide training to dementia caregivers, share how they use techniques learned from improvisational theatre to engage with Karen’s mother, who has Alzheimer’s.

Content provided by Home Instead Senior Care.

If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s there are many techniques you can use to keep your loved one engaged, from creating a memory box to encouraging them to laugh and play music. Whatever you are doing, it’s helpful to keep these guidelines in mind. 

· Have realistic expectations. Focus on things your loved one is able to do now, rather than on things he or she did in the past.

· Keep your itinerary short and simple—stay away from elaborate, multistep activities.

· Communicate in a supportive and uplifting way.

· Try not to treat your loved one like a child.

· Watch for cues, such as increased distraction or agitation.

· Place attention on skills and interests your loved one retains.

· Use patience and don’t rush.

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