Are you looking for ways to communicate effectively with your loved one?
When a loved one receives a dementia diagnosis, it can be a daunting reality to face. Take a look at our list of communication aids for dementia to help ensure you maintain effective communication with your loved one throughout this difficult time:
Use Visual Aids
If your loved one is going to remain in their own home, there are a few communication aids for dementia that you can try in order to help them retain their independence and live safely.
Visual aids around the house can serve as reminders to help your loved one achieve daily tasks, such as remembering the location of important items or switching the oven off.
These can be in the form of notes or posters at each point to help them remember these vital actions. You can also put a list of important numbers on the wall by the telephone for them, as phonebooks may get misplaced.
Enlist the Help of a Home Care Assistant
It’s advisable to arrange home care visits for your loved one if they choose to stay in their home.
Having set times for someone to check in with them can provide peace of mind for you and your loved one, as well as ensuring a professional level of communication. This is helpful for monitoring the progression of their dementia, whilst providing an invaluable sense of companionship in your absence.
A home care assistant can pop in once a week, for a couple of hours a day, or they can live in, depending on your loved one’s needs. In addition to offering a friendly face, professional carers can help with a wide array of day-to-day tasks and activities - such as washing, dressing, feeding, and administering medication.
Use the Dementia Dictionary
The Dementia Dictionary is a useful tool, not only for finding new ways to communicate with your loved one, but also understanding the new ways in which they communicate with you.
It’s an online service where you can translate your loved one’s behaviours, actions, noises, and body language into the dementia-specific language, so you can gain a better understanding.
The dictionary is continuously developed with new descriptions of behaviours, and its dementia interpreters also run a networking platform where they offer advice and support, should you need it.
Install a Technology Assistant
Technology assistants and apps, such as the Alexa Care Hub, can provide your loved one with audible reminders for essential tasks such as appointments, phone calls, and taking medicine.
They can connect to smart devices within the home so, for example, your loved one could use Alexa to adjust the heating. Your loved one can also use the hub for listening to music or audiobooks, as well as assistance with everyday tasks such as cooking and creating to-do lists/shopping lists.
They’re user-friendly, making it easy for your loved one to remain as independent as possible in their own home.
Keep a Scrapbook
Scrapbooking offers a brilliant outlet for personalisation and expression. It's also a valuable tool for preserving special memories.
Bring copies of photographs of family and friends - both past and present - and help your loved one cut and glue them into a scrapbook. Don't forget to write down the names of each person and descriptions of the scene; it'll help jog your loved one's memory and provide valuable insight for future generations.
During each visit, you can add more to the scrapbook as a way of spending quality time with your loved one, as well as creating a beautiful keepsake. It's an effective way of providing stimulation, whilst also improving fine motor and cognitive skills.
It can be upsetting and frustrating when your loved one begins to forget special memories, but you can use this time to record the experiences they do remember in the scrapbook.
Here at Wellbeing Care, we understand that a dementia diagnosis is a difficult path to navigate for all involved. The next time you're with your loved one, give some of these communication aids for dementia a try.
For further ways to help your loved one, visit our previous blog to discover the essential food groups for optimal health in older adults. If you’d like more information or support, contact a dedicated member of our team.