Tips for Connecting with Someone with Memory Loss
04/17/2023 | News | Reading Time 4 Minutes
Memory loss is a frustrating and challenging experience for both the individual who is affected and their loved ones. It can cause difficulties in communication, make it challenging to maintain relationships, and impact daily life. There are, however, several ways to connect with someone with memory loss and making that connection can help improve their quality of life and strengthen your bond with them. Here are some tips for connecting with someone with memory loss.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
The first step in connecting with someone with memory loss is to maintain a positive attitude. It can be difficult seeing someone you care about struggle with their memory, but it is essential to stay optimistic and hopeful. Overall, it’s important to remember that they are still the same person you know and love.
Use Clear and Simple Language
Use clear and simple language when speaking with someone with memory loss, avoiding complex sentences or technical terms that may confuse them. Speak slowly and clearly. The more straightforward and short your sentences, the better. It’s also a good idea to avoid using slang or colloquialisms that they may not be familiar with.
Engage in Activities That Stimulate Memory
Activities that stimulate memory are an excellent way to connect with someone with memory loss. Things like playing board games, solving puzzles, or other brain-stimulating games are great ways to help you engage with your loved one. You can also try activities like reminiscing about old memories or looking through old photo albums.
Repeat and Remind
People with memory loss often forget things that were just told to them. Because of this, it’s oftentimes helpful to repeat important information and remind them of things they may have forgotten. For example, if you have dinner plans, you may want to mention it several times throughout the day to ensure that they remember.
Be Patient and Understanding
It can be frustrating when someone with memory loss forgets things, repeats themselves, or becomes confused. It is crucial, however, to be patient and understanding and avoid correcting them or getting upset when they make mistakes. Overall, you should try to be as flexible as possible and adapt to changing circumstances.
Create a Comfortable Environment
Creating a comfortable environment can help someone with memory loss feel more relaxed and at ease. Using familiar objects and decorations is one way you can create a comfortable and familiar space. For example, you may want to use furniture, decorations, or photographs that they might recognize and associate with a calming atmosphere.
It’s easy for someone with memory loss to become distant and socially isolated. That’s why it is essential to connect with them as much as possible. Try to visit them regularly, call them frequently, and keep them up to date on important events in your life.
Use Visual Aids
Visual aids can be an excellent way to engage someone with memory loss. Things like photos, drawings, or diagrams to help explain concepts or ideas can drastically help with communication. Visual aids also help with comprehension and provide a reference point for someone with memory loss.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Break
It’s not easy caring for someone with memory loss. It is very common for caregivers to experience burnout and depression. If you feel like it’s becoming too much, take a break. You won’t help anyone if you are tired, frustrated, or angry. Sometimes, taking some time to recharge your batteries is the best way to help your loved one. Overall, patience is key. Being positive and empathetic goes a long way in forging a better connection with a loved one with memory loss. You also need to know when to ask for help and when you need to take a break.
If these suggestions don’t work, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to help communicate with people with memory loss. Keep trying until you find what’s right for you and your loved one.
At Aldersly, we understand the needs of people experiencing memory loss and the needs of their loved ones. As one of the most technologically advanced memory care residences in North America, Aldersly’s Rosenborg Memory Care is designed to enhance the life experience and overall wellness of people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. We know what you’re going through and we’re here to help. Watch our video to learn more about the Rosenborg Memory Care residence or call us at (415) 432-7047 to schedule a visit.