According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018.” As predicted, this number will continue to grow as the number of older Americans continues to increase. This is why it is important to be able to communicate with the memory care population. Furthermore, there are strategic ways to understand their behaviors that we will discuss throughout the article.
The main focus of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s is to be able to communicate with them by understanding their behaviors and personalities. This disease can cause the individual to act differently and become anxious or aggressive. Using positive language can help reduce frustration between the caregiver and the person with dementia. It can also give the caregiver a better understanding of the needs and behaviors of the individual he or she is caring for. Thus, allowing both to communicate effectively. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “It’s important to understand that the person is not trying to be difficult and the behavior can be a form of communication.”
Most people with cognitive deterioration have trouble with verbal communication and have problems remembering certain things. Dementia usually causes mood swings as well as change his or her personality and behavior. Some ways to help those in this situation are to:
- Aide them in eating independently by pre-cutting their food into ‘finger foods’.Try using a straw or a child’s ‘sippy cup’ if holding a glass is difficult for them. However, only provide assistance when necessary and when necessary respect their dignity and provide independence.
- Know that when troubling behavior is triggered, it may be occurring because of something someone did or said, or due to a change in the physical environment. Consider changing your behavior or the physical environment. By doing so it will often result in a positive change in the person’s behavior.
- Help them with dressing and grooming by choosing loose-fitting, comfortable clothes with easy zippers. Also, you may want to consider removing seldom-worn clothes from the closet to reduce making choices. Remember to remove soiled clothes from the room.
The feeling of belonging also known as acceptance can help adults with and without dementia enjoy life. Most people obtain this feeling from being in a positive environment that comforts and supports their wellbeing. A positive environment is very important for those with cognitive illness. There are many ways to help people with Alzheimer’s live healthy, here are a few ways we take on this challenge:
At Renaissance Home Health Care and Adult Day Services, we believe in holistic care that intrigues the mind, moves the body and inspires the spirit. The result is a positive community of residents and caretakers focused on quality living. Our Director of Patient Services, Marise Deaussou, explains “Our clients are identified as a rose, daisy, iris, violet, or morning glory based on their unique personalities and abilities. Our seniors enjoy our positive approach and literally ‘blossom’ through our enthusiasm. We treat our clients as unique individuals and choose to focus on their strengths, feelings and cognitive capacities, not their impairments or illnesses.” To find out more about our approach to offering services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients, click here.