There are certain communication skills and guidelines an elderly caregiver should follow when working with a senior citizen with Alzheimer’s disease or Dementia. In order to decipher all of the facts, it is also very important to designate these in writing; document, document, document!
You do need to know the individual that you are working with – even if they don’t remember you. Try to begin every conversation with socially orienting information such as shaking hands if you work with men or re-introducing yourself each time you visit either a man or a woman. You will want to use a calm, non-demanding approach such as being humorous and cheerful.
Another very important maneuver is to approach your clients from the front, not the rear as this will be a much less threatening approach and scare them less, too. To further accentuate a less threatening persona, always make certain to keep good eye contact as this is respectful and the senior clients will know that you are honest and only have good intentions.
Speak and move slowly giving seniors the time they need to process what you are saying. You will want to have enough time to communicate with seniors effectively. If this means repeating over and over, then that is what you need to do. Even if you have to leave and come back, it will help those that process slower due to their brain slowing down. Time is sometimes all that they have left.
Never argue with your clients as it is unnecessary and oftentimes useless! Remember that With Age Comes Respect so respect, patience and kindness tend to win the day!