For someone living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, verbal communication can become difficult. As a caregiver, attempting to communicate successfully can sometimes lead to frustration and confusion for the individual with dementia. Non-verbal communication can be extremely powerful – for both of you.
The Power of Expression
As words and language become complicated and frustrating, facial expressions remain intuitively easy for communication. A smile conveys love and warmth that an individual living with dementia can feel, and will relay back to you through their smile.
Try soft and warm expressions during a conversation, even when the person you are caring for is upset. Your smile will help.
The Power of Touch
Like expression, touch is a language that we don’t forget how to speak. A comforting hand to hold can make a person living with dementia feel loved and secure. A warm grasp of the hand when you greet each other lets them know that you are happy to see each other.
The Power of Tone
When you speak with someone who has dementia, it can be easy sometimes for both sides to get frustrated an upset. Misunderstandings amount to flashes of frustration and even anger. It is important that in these moments you remain calm in your tone, and maintain a caring expression and voice that will guide them to peace.