World Alzheimer’s Month: 5 Tips for Connection and Communication

imagesDid you know that September is World Alzheimer’s Month? In order to help increase awareness, we’re dedicating some of this month’s blogs to topics in Alzheimer’s disease. Last week we gave some basic information about the global and national impact of Alzheimer’s disease and how it impacts communication. Today, we’ll provide some strategies for helping you connect with your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease by maximizing communication:

  1. Slow Down: People with Alzheimer’s disease aren’t able to process speech at the rate they could before. Speaking slowly and pause between each sentence to increase the chance of comprehension and gives the person extra time to formulate a response.
  1. Simplify Questions: Open-ended questions can be difficult for a person with dementia. Whenever possible, provide choices, or ask questions that only require a yes/no response.
  1. Watch Your Tone: The emotion in your voice comes through even if your words aren’t always understood. If you sound tense, rushed, or unhappy, the person with Alzheimer’s disease is likely to pick up on your tone and become upset. Put extra effort into speaking in a positive, calming tone whenever possible.
  1. Try a Memory Book: Write down short, simple records of memories and experiences in a small journal or photo album with plenty of pictures and photographs. Going through these books together is a great bonding experience and can help the person with Alzheimer’s remember the past.
  1. Get Outside Help: A speech-language pathologist, can provide external aids and strategies for the individual with Alzheimer’s and their family to help them communicate to the best of their ability and improve their overall quality of life.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give us a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to jayne@speechassociatesofny.com. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.

© 2016, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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