Communicating Effectively with an Elderly Adult in the Advanced Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease

The advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease, often referred to as late stage Alzheimer’s, is the end of the progression. This is often considered the most difficult time for caregivers as they face the most extensive challenges and must give more intense care. One of the most challenging aspects of this time is communication. During the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease your parent is likely to lose their ability to engage with the world around them and may not communicate verbally at all.


Homecare in Thornhill: Communication And Advanced Stage of Alzheimer's Disease

Homecare in Thornhill: Communication And Advanced Stage of Alzheimer’s Disease


This does not mean, however, that you should not continue to communicate with them. By continuing to communicate with your parent, you support your parent-child bond, stay connected, and make memories that you will cherish when this chapter is over. While it is not known, there is also the suggestion that communicating with your parent can be comforting and reassuring for them, even if they are not able to show it.


Use these tips to help you communicate effectively with an elderly adult in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease:


-Always show respect and dignity to your parent, no matter how much they are able to communicate back with you.

-Try not to “sneak up” on your parent. Approach them from the front so that they know that you are there.

-Be sure to identify yourself each time that you see your parent. Say something along the lines of “Hi, Mom, it’s your daughter,” and then say your name. This will help them to feel more secure.

-If your parent is still able to express themselves, encourage them to use gestures if they struggle with the right word. This can also be very effective if they try to communicate verbally but you do not understand what they said.

-Focus more on the intention of the communication rather than what they actually say. Look at their expressions and read their non-verbal cues to find their true meaning rather than just focusing on words.

-Communicate with them in ways other than speaking. Holding their hand, patting them on the back, or giving them a kiss shows that you love and value them without saying it in words.

-Even if your parent is not verbal, talk to them when you are in the room with them. Greet them. Ask them how they are doing. Tell them about your day. Describe each care task that you are doing. Be sure to tell them goodbye when you leave and let them know when you’ll be back.


Making the decision to be a family caregiver for your aging parent can be one of the most fulfilling and meaningful decisions that you can make in your life. It can also present you with a tremendous amount of stress and leave you feeling stretched thin and even overwhelmed. If you begin to feel this way, or you simply feel that your aging parent would benefit from more diverse care, now may be the ideal time for you to introduce home care into their routine.

An in-home senior care services provider can step in to fill care gaps, handle potentially sensitive care tasks that you or your parent might be uncomfortable with you handling, and offer support and assistance that can encourage your parent to maintain more independence and activity as they age in place. These highly personalized services can help your parent to maintain a higher quality of life while also supporting your health, well-being, and quality of life as well.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare in Thornhill, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.




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