Keeping the lines of communication open is absolutely essential for good relationships and healthy living. Unfortunately, in modern society it appears as though communication has taken a turn for the worse. Most of us have a tendency to spend far too much time on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, our noses buried in our phones, even when we are at the dinner table, and trying to ‘stay connected’ to family and friends by quick text messages and Facebook posts. That isn’t doing anyone any good; it’s just easier. When somebody has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, communication is going to be essential, and most likely they aren’t going to be using social media or texting all that often.
There are a few effective strategies that can help keep these lines of communication open which can provide that elderly individual comfort, security, and the sense that they truly do have people ready to help them in their time of need.
Check in on a regular basis.
It may be necessary to have a home care aide supporting somebody with Alzheimer’s, especially as the disease progresses, but it’s also a good idea to call and check in as often as possible. This senior is going through a difficult time in their life. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s and the average life expectancy upon diagnosis is between eight and 10 years (Alzheimer’s Association).
They could have a number of questions, be stressed and anxious, especially when they are confused about where they are, what’s happening in their life, or who is there helping them. A quick phone call or even providing them reminders throughout the house that they can call you can be a great benefit.
Keep a journal there with the senior.
This journal can contain thoughts, instructions, and encouragement. You can write down some things you and he or she talked about during your last visit. Keep this journal in the same place, either on the kitchen table or somewhere they will easily see throughout most of the day. If they’re confused, if they are stressed, or if they are anxious, they could be reminded to look at the journal and it may offer some comfort.
Another strategy could be video teleconferencing.
Skype, Google Talk, and even FaceTime are all simple apps people can rely on to see the people with whom they are speaking. This can be a great asset for those recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. When you keep the lines of communication open, it can provide comfort and peace of mind for those struggling with their memories, thoughts, and daily life.