Ms. Sangeetha, Clinical Manager at India Home Health Care has this to share about her experience with Mr. X is suffering from dementia which is the main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. “Mr.X will be always inside in his room. One day when I went for my visit, he was having his lunch and drank buttermilk. Then, he went to his room and looked himself. After 15-20 minutes of duration he came out and again asked for lunch.When his wife told him that he had already finished his lunch, he said okay and went to his room again. Whenever I go I usually introduce myself but when I go for my next visit, he always enquires about me and asks me “Who I Am?”
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior.Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Communication Dos and Don’ts:
- Avoid becoming anxious in front of the patient, since they are more sensitive and would like to become more frustrated.
- Always give one direction or ask one question at a time, to avoid confusion.
- Keep introducing yourself every day, since they might be in doubts looking at you.
- Never speak to patient fast. Speak aloud and slowly for communication, since they will not be able to understand quickly.
- Always use repetition as much as necessary.
- Never say things like: “Do you remember?” Or “How could you know that?”
- Avoid remarks like “I just told you that”.
- Always include the person in the conversation by physically present in front of them.
- Use of specifics, like instead of “sit there” say “sit in the blue chair”.
Tips provided to the staff:
- Always the care giver should be in a positive mood for interaction. Set a positive mood by speaking to your loved one in a pleasant and respectful manner.
- Get the patient’s attention before speaking to them, avoid all the distractions and noise in the surroundings.
- Should be clear in the communication by using simple words. Speak slowly in a louder voice.
- Always respond with affection and re-assurance since they are very confused. Avoid trying to convince them when they are wrong.
- Remember the good old days. Avoid asking questions that rely onshort-term memory, such as asking the person what they had for lunch. Instead, try asking general questions about the person’s distant past, this information is more likely to be retained.