There is much to learn here at the Institute for Challenging Disorganization 2015 Conference.. empathetic tips to communicate with people suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Around the age of 50, most humans begin to experience a gradual but cumulative decline in memory. Yet most people “remain mentally alert and competent as they age”, according to Margrit Novack, the Founding President of NASMM. Indeed, she said, the loss of mental acuity is not a natural occurence of aging.
If you occasionally forget things, usually new information, you can likely blame it on aging (or simply stress, depression, medication, etc.). If memory loss is more severe, it may be cognitive impairment. However, if you notice in a loved one language problems, impaired judgment and shortened attention span, it may be an indication of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease for a medical professional to diagnose.
Here are some of Margrit’s practical and powerful tips on how to engage with Seniors and those suffering from Memory Loss:
- Have barrier-free communications, speaking face to face, at their level, and a bit more slowly
- Minimize distrations; turn off the TV!
- Use repitition to reinforce the conversation
- Place helpful lists, notes and reminders in strategic locations
Alzheimer’s is a particularly difficult disease where victims experience an intense loss of self-esteem and control. In these cases, encourage their participation, don’t correct wrong answers, be patient and provide reassurance often, which are all tips that are great ways to treat anyone who sturggles with health and organization challenges.
Nuggets of gold! #ICD2015