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Top 5 Secrets to Successful Communication with those with Memory Loss
Top 5 Secrets to Successful Communication with those with Memory Loss
Communicating with someone who has memory loss can sometimes times be the hardest part of the disease process. In fact, most caregivers find this become even more difficult during the holidays.
Families get together or come to visit hoping for a magical moment with Mom or Grandpa, only to leave without getting the gift of even a smile. At Azura Memory Care we train our caregivers in the art of communicating with our residents and as a thank you for all that you do, we would like to share our top five secrets in hopes that it helps to make your holiday a bit more merrier!
1. Get the person’s attention — use eye contact—securing eye contact helps to get the individual’s attention, helping their brain to more easily focus on you and what you are saying. A gentle touch can also accomplish this. Look directly at the person before you speak, identify yourself at the beginning of each interaction and maintain eye or touch contact at all times.
2. Speak clearly, in short, direct sentences – use one-step commands—use the KISS method (Keep It Simple and Short). Complex or abstract subjects will be difficult for a person with Alzheimer’s to follow. Talk about things that are seen, heard, touched or smelled. Be matter of fact, ask, “either/or” or as a last resort “yes” or “no” questions as much as possible.
3. Use your non-verbal skills – smile and mirror their body language, switching until you can draw them into a conversation or a better mood. Consider providing illustrations, drawings or photos to give additional cues to your conversation. At Azura we highly encourage families to use Life Story Books to help draw out magical moments for their loved one. Also avoid environmental distractions such as the TV or radio.
4. Praise and encourage — be affectionate with your loved one and realize that they need to be told that they are loved and important to you. They also need to be hugged. Families often fret about what to give their loved one, but in reality most would just love a simple hug, smile, trip down memory lane or to be told that they “did a good job.”
5. Be patient—if they or you become frustrated, take a break and try again later. They will sense when you are tired, stressed or in a hurry, and may mirror you, becoming upset or confused as a result. A quiet, soothing voice, gentle touch or a calm presence may reassure and calm someone who is confused or upset.
In truth none of these suggestions are secrets, they are basic ways to communicate. However, as caregivers if we take the time to focus on these five simple steps, we will see secret communication that our loved ones can still provide and that is a true gift!
My father has been here only a little over 2 months. The positive change in him has been DRAMATIC! I would HIGHLY recommend Azura........ I would give it 10 stars if they allowed it! This is the premier facility for any family member with cognitive issues! They do treat residents like family, believe it!
Review posted by Stephen Diedrich
The staff at Oak Creek are all fabulous! It takes special people to care for our loved ones. If has been a trying year for all and the staff at oak creek get a shout out for their kindness and compassion they give to my mom and the others. They have all gone above and beyond to make things seem as normal as possible for my mom! All of the staff have been so helpful and kind! They are all fabulous!!
Review posted by Mary Kubacki
"We want to thank you for the loving special care you took of our mother, Diane. It was truly mom's home and you all became part of our family. Everything was home for her....from the beautiful rooms, large sunny windows all around, good food made with love, fun and personal activities from people who really loved our mom. We would highly recommend your facility to anyone. The staff from the director, to the doctor, to the nurse, to the caregivers and the maintenance man were all extremely helpful, caring, loving and professional. There are not enough words to say how much we appreciate all of you. Your exceptional care, kindness, and love were beyond anything we could have imagined. You were part of our family, and we will miss you." - Gail Sommers and Deborah Guse
Review posted by Gail Sommers & Deborah Guse
Just moved my sister-in-law to Azura Stoughton on February 12th. I feel like I’ve found a little piece of dementia heaven. The staff has gone way beyond my expectations to meet her needs and take time to know her. Anyone who has dementia deserves the TLC they receive at Azura. I’m so impressed.
Review posted by Gail Aaroen
Thank you to the Azura Memory Care team, Sheboygan location for the amazing, loving care they provided my dad. They truly loved and cared for my dad as if he was their own. It is such a warm, loving, family environment I only wish we would have moved my dad there years earlier!
Review posted by Patti Bunch
Review posted by Ron Paxson
I have enjoyed working with patients at Azura Care as a Physical Therapist Assistant. The staff has been very helpful in sharing important information about the patients to make their therapy sessions as productive as possible. They are open to learning techniques to help keep patients safe and improve their ability to perform daily tasks with less assistance. Their interactions with patients show caring and compassion with a focus on the needs of each individual to enjoy the best quality of life possible.
Review posted by Barb Eisenberg
The journey of caregiving for my Aunt started over 4 years ago. It has been a very long difficult journey. It is hard to watch and frustrating to watch a loved one decline, as well as for them to live the decline. My Aunt found her final peace at Azura Memory Care in Sheboygan. It was not only her peace but mine as well. I no longer had to worry about her care as I could see that she was loved by her Azura family. She passed away on June 21 and they knew how important that it was for me to be there, but I also found peace that if I was not there, she was with family that loved her. No words can express the appreciation for the care, compassion and love that they have for all their residents. God has opened many doors through my journey and the doors at Azura were truly a gift from God. This family made a difference in a long journey. I will always have them in my thoughts and prayers. They are where and doing what they are meant to do!
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