Welcome to the final post of my 4 part series on How to Communicate with a Dementia Patient.
- At mealtime encourage your loved one to sit at a table and with family members or other residents at their facility. Don’t relegate them to the sidelines by having them eat alone in their room or in front of the television. Mealtime is a wonderful opportunity for them to communicate and engage in social interactions. Eating with others also brings a senses of belonging into your loved one’s life. Do everything in your power to create a warm, beautiful, and loving meal setting. Make mealtime an event that they look forward to. I think that if you take my advice you will also see an increase in their appetite.
- Stay calm and relaxed. If you feel yourself becoming stressed, walk away. Don’t overreact to anything that they say or do. Do everything in your power to remain serene. You are most likely to gain their cooperation if you maintain a gentle, quiet demeanor.
- Change your tactics if necessary. If you find that you are not connecting, try a new strategy. If you are still unsuccessful, take time to pause and begin again tomorrow.
- Never stop trying. This is my most important piece of advice. No matter how bad things get, keep trying to find new ways to break through their shell. Experience has taught me that they are still trying desperately to remain connected to you. Do everything in your power to help make this happen. Never stop tying to help them remain a part of the world around them.