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How to Communicate When Mom Cannot Remember to Do Everyday Tasks


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A caregiver taking care of a senior suffering from Alzheimer's

Suggestions for Dementia Care from the Team at Home Instead

When you last visited your mom, did her clothes seem a little disheveled? Was her hair combed? Could she remember the last time she brushed her teeth or took a shower? If your mom has been diagnosed with dementia, her ability to remember everyday tasks will become limited. She may also have problems with critical thinking, become agitated when in an overly stimulating environment, and fail to find the right words in conversations. She may forget to take her prescription medicine or eat her meals.

You and your loved one do not have to live in discouragement as the disease takes over. On the contrary, caring for dementia patients is one of our specialties at Home Instead Senior Care. Our caregivers are highly trained to assist your aging parent in the comfort of their home with services such as companionship and personal care. We also help family caregivers take a break with respite care.

5 Tips for Communicating with Your Parent Challenged by Dementia

What do you do when your parent suffers from memory loss, and you need to communicate with her? It’s easy to get discouraged when you have to repeat yourself continually, but there are steps you can take to be successful talking with Mom:

  • Make sure the conversation is one-on-one. Eliminate as many distractions as you can. This includes turning off the TV or radio.
  • Remember that body language for both parties is still useful. Communicating is more than words. If emotions run high, each one of you will pick up the stress and anxiety. Try to remain calm and look for signs from Dad that he may be confused or agitated.
  • Be patient with your loved one’s response. Try hard to let your mom answer your questions in her own time. Avoid rushing her or trying to finish her thoughts for her.
  • Ask “yes” or “no” questions. Too many choices can bring on frustration. Limit options by asking, “would you like to go to the park?” You can get a simple one word answer.
  • Keep instructions very simple. Try not to give Dad too many things to do at once. Instead, tell him to eat dinner first. When he is done, instruct him to put his dishes in the sink.

One of the most essential suggestions to remember is to not argue with your senior loved one. Even if you know you are right, let it go. Arguing probably will not change anything. You can handle it later when emotions are not so tense.

Give Mom the Best Support with a Personal Support Worker from Home Instead

Rest assured that Mom or Dad is well cared for when you seek the support from the team of PSWs at Home Instead Senior Care Hamilton. Our staff is eager to assist you or your loved one with dementia care, Alzheimer’s care, or any of our other senior care services. We also offer many other resources to help you through this season of life.

Call us at (905) 521-5500 to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality home care for seniors we deliver each day to families in the Hamilton, Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek area.

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