During National Day of Listening, stop and think about how you listen to your dad. Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease for families. You want to listen to your dad, but his communication skills have declined. He’ll get frustrated, and it breaks your heart to see him struggling.
Communication skills may decrease, but there are still ways to listen to your dad. Use these tips to figure out how to listen to what he wants or needs.
Keep Sentences Simple
When you’re talking to your dad stick to simple phrases. Don’t speak in full sentences. Use quick, simple phrases of no more than a few words.
For example, you want to know if your dad wants to go for a walk. Simply ask “Walk” and use a questioning tone. If he wants to, he’ll head towards the door.
When he’s talking to you, it may not make sense. Don’t get frustrated or show that you’re worried. Try to focus on the term he keeps repeating. It can help you deduce what he’s after.
Watch His Facial Cues
Even if he cannot speak or doesn’t seem to make sense, pay close attention to your dad’s facial cues. If he’s happy, you’ll see it in his eyes and smile. If he’s frustrated, his frown will say a lot. If he needs something, he may start staring at your and making hand gestures.
There may come a day when cards are more useful than words. Have picture cards with common activities and items like food, beverage, car, shower, etc. When it’s time for your dad to do something like that, show him the card.
Remember That Agitation Can Be a Sign of Discomfort
If your dad is especially agitated or even angry, check that everything is okay. Pain and discomfort may cause your dad to lash out. He can’t tell you that he’s in pain or doesn’t feel well. As a result, his irritation with the situation is prominent.
Check that he doesn’t have a UTI. Signs include frequent urination, very dark or pink urine, and a burning sensation while he goes to the bathroom. If he has a UTI or you suspect he does, call his doctor. A urine test will determine if he does or not.
What’s one of the most important parts of Alzheimer’s care? It’s knowing to take breaks. Yes, you want to be there for your dad, but you need to care for yourself. With home care services, you can take those needed breaks. Go for a walk, run errands, or take a nap. Call a home care agency and ask about respite care services.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering home care in Bethesda, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585.