Once seniors reach the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, they may face difficulty with communication. Seniors with Alzheimer’s may quit talking due to changes in their brains that interfere with their ability to create oral language. They may have memory issues that keep them from coming up with the right words, or they may physically lose the ability to form proper sounds. Either way, there are many things you can do to make this difficult phase of the condition easier for you and your aging loved one with Alzheimer’s.
1. Remember Your Loved One Can Still Hear
When a senior is silent, it can sometimes be easy to forget he or she is in the room. Some people also fall into the trap of thinking their loved ones cannot hear or understand a conversation. Try to remember your loved one is capable of hearing and comprehending more than you might know. Make sure to use positive language around your loved one, and include him or her in your conversations. While it might feel one-sided, talking to your loved one is important for his or her wellbeing.
A professional caregiver with training and experience in Alzheimer’s care can be a wonderful source of support for seniors and their families. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
2. Pay Attention to Your Loved One’s Body Language
Seniors who cannot speak sometimes use other methods to make their needs known. Look at your loved one when you ask a question to see if he or she is trying to communicate. Your loved one might blink his or her eyes rapidly or clench his or her fists. Little changes in posture could indicate your loved one has something to say.
3. Use Positive Communication Methods
Your communication style also helps your loved one understand more. For instance, you can get down on your loved one’s level if he or she is sitting down so you have a better line of eye contact. You may also want to use simple and clear language your loved one can understand better than complicated sentences with advanced vocabulary. Keep in mind that simplifying language isn’t the same as baby talk. Always speak in a normal tone of voice to seniors who are nonverbal so they feel respected.
Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Clearwater Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
4. Try Using Picture Cards
Communication aids become more important now. Caregivers can use picture cards that allow seniors to point at images that communicate what they need. Seniors with Alzheimer’s may need very simple picture cards with only one or two choices for this method to be successful. There are also smartphone and computer apps available that help seniors generate recorded messages by pressing specific buttons. Although not all seniors with Alzheimer’s can manage this type of communication device, it’s worth trying to see if your loved one can use it.
5. Increase Supervision
Your loved one may not be able to tell you things that are important for his or her care, which means you may need other caregivers to step in to watch his or her behavior when you cannot be there. Having additional people around can help you see if your loved one develops new symptoms or requires assistance right away.
Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. Clearwater, FL, live-in care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in caregiver, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while aging in place. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Home Care Assistance. Reach out to one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (727) 330-7862.