Learn How To Talk To A Family Member With Memory Loss

It is always difficult to watch a loved one struggle with memory loss related to dementia or Alzheimer’s. Their loss of short-term memory can also make conversation frustrating. They may repeat the same question over and over, forget where they are, or even forget who you are. Many of the residents at Noel Manor, a top Verona memory care facility, do these things all day long.

If you are having difficulty communicating, here are a few suggestions we think may help.

Listen First

You may have something you want to talk about. Be patient. Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients struggle with critical thinking and reasoning skills, so it may be difficult for them to switch gears and talk about what is on your mind. Forcing a conversation in a particular direction may leave them confused or upset.

Avoid Correcting Them

Your loved one may be confused about what year it is and disconnected from your family’s current state, culture, politics, etc. There is not much benefit from telling them that their spouse or child died years ago, or Ronald Reagan isn’t president anymore. They may complain that you never visit, even though you visit them daily. In their mind, their spouse may be alive, and you may still be a small child. Instead of saying “David died in 2007,” try asking, “What is your favorite thing about David?”

Ask Them to Tell You a Story from a Time They Seem to Remember

Despite losing short-term memory, many of those with dementia or Alzheimer’s retain much of their long-term memory. Ask them to tell you how they met their spouse or what their sister was like as a teenager.

Do What Works for Them

They may not be up for talking the day you visit. That is ok. Go for a walk. Sing a song you know they like. Share a meal. If you aren’t sure what to do, ask the Verona, WI memory care facility staff for suggestions.

Remember That They Need You

When a loved one needs memory care in Verona or Madison, it may be a difficult adjustment for you. If your parent, spouse, or favorite Aunt suddenly needs you to care for them––instead of them caring for you––it may be tempting to resist the change in your relationship dynamic. Nonetheless, do your best to look after them and not make visits about you. Make the most of your time with them and help brighten their day.

If your loved one is in a memory care facility, the dedicated staff at their facility can only do so much. They will never be a replacement for friends and family––or YOU. Your efforts to visit and talk are genuinely significant.

The Legacy at Noel Manor

If your loved one is currently in a Verona, Fitchburg, Mount Horeb or Madison, WI. Assisted Living facility but not receiving all the care they need due to moderate or advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s, contact us, and we can help. 

Contact us at The Legacy at Noel Manor. We would be glad to answer any questions you might have and help you better understand the care options available.