Communicating Nonverbally with Aging Adults Who Have Dementia

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How to Communicate Nonverbally with Older Adults who Have Dementia in Portland, ME

Good communication is an important part of providing care for seniors with dementia because it can soothe their emotions while helping them understand what’s happening throughout the day. Since dementia can affect your elderly loved one’s ability to comprehend oral language, nonverbal communication is essential for helping him or her fill in the gaps.

Pay Attention to Facial Expressions

Stress can show on your face and cause your loved one to feel alarmed. When providing care for your loved one, maintain a calm expression even if you feel stressed. On the other hand, your facial expressions can also demonstrate compassion, understanding, and encouragement. For example, smiling when your loved one accomplishes a task reinforces his or her efforts toward doing things independently.

Match Your Body Language to the Situation

It’s important to ensure your body language accurately depicts your intentions. For example, pointing toward a door may lead your loved one to think you want him or her to go into that room when you’re actually telling him or her it’s off-limits. Instead, point in the direction you’d like your loved one to go, and guide him or her there if needed.

Living with dementia can make it difficult for seniors to manage daily tasks. 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 Align Home Care, a leading provider of homecare services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Use Soothing Touches

A hand placed gently on your loved one’s arm can steer him or her in the right direction, and it can also calm him or her down during a stressful moment. However, it’s important to make sure your loved one is comfortable with being touched, since it could lead to an angry outburst if he or she becomes distressed. As you develop your caregiving relationship with your loved one, you’ll gradually learn when and how to use gentle touches to ease his or her emotions.

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 Align Home Care 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.

Position Yourself Correctly

The way you stand next to your loved one can have a powerful impact on his or her behavior. Try to avoid standing over your loved one because it can be intimidating. Instead, stand next to your parent or kneel down to his or her eye level if necessary. This way, your loved one may feel respected and in control of the situation.

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Align Home Care is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Portland families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. If you need professional home care for your loved one, Align Home Care is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (207) 835-3490.


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