While there is no surefire formula for communicating with a parent who has dementia or Alzheimer’s, these tips can help:
• Find a quiet setting to visit with your parent to avoid distractions and interruptions.
• Avoid “baby talk.” Address your parent as an adult, using a warm tone and enunciating clearly.
• Introduce yourself every time. You can say, “Hi, Mom. It’s me, Jen.”
• Avoid the desire to correct him or her when they make mistakes. For example, if she calls you by your sister’s name, let it go.
• Smile. Nonverbal language is often more effective with people who have dementia. Eye contact and a smile can help you connect with and comfort your parent or loved one.
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