Controlling Your Stress and Frustration When Trying to Communicate with a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease

Home Care in Etobicoke

When you are on a home care journey with an elderly parent who is coping with Alzheimer’s disease, communication is likely to be one of your greatest challenges. Many seniors start to notice Home-Care-in-Etobicokechanges in their ability to communicate even in the early stages of the disease, and these challenges only worsen as the disease progresses. Common changes in the way that a person is able to communicate when they are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease include not being able to find the right word when talking, slower talking, not being able to follow along with a conversation, making up words, using words that are inappropriate in context, not talking as much, and reverting to a native language. All of these changes can be frustrating and stressful for your aging parent, but they can also be extremely stressful and frustrating for you. You want to know that you are giving your parent the best care you possibly can, but these changes in communication can make it hard for you to really feel confident in your efforts. You may also just feel frustrated that you are not able to get through your various care tasks as effectively or efficiently. Finding ways to control your stress and frustration will improve your mental and emotional health, protect your relationship with your parent, and help ensure the consistent quality of your care efforts.


Use these tips to help you control your stress and frustration when trying to communicate with a senior with Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Know it is not their fault. Sometimes it can feel as though your parent is being purposely frustrating to you with their communication struggles. This, however, is most likely not the case. Alzheimer’s disease and its effects are not something that your parent can control. Recognizing and accepting that your parent is not doing these things “on purpose” or simply trying to be difficult can release your frustration and help you to feel more empathetic.
  • Give yourself plenty of time. When you are going to have a conversation with your parent, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. Feeling rushed or like you are running short on time are surefire ways to make you feel stressed and upset. Instead, know that your parent is going to need longer to respond to questions and that you may need longer to interpret the response. Take your time and let the conversation unfold as it is going to.
  • Evaluate your own communication style. If you feel like you are struggling to communicate with your elderly loved one, take some time to step back and evaluate your own communication style and approach. Determine if you are using communication that may not be clear or easy for your parent to understand. For example, you may be using words your parent does not know, speaking too quickly, using too complex of sentences, or using potentially confusing expressions. Simplify your communication and use Alzheimer’s-friendly techniques, then see if the communication improves.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Etobicoke, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.


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