Dementia and Alzheimer’s can be difficult not only for the one living with the disease but also their dementia caregivers, whether it’s a family member and loved one, or a hired caregiver. Memory loss is often the most prominent symptom of dementia. It can also cause the most frustration, whether it’s your client asking repeatedly if they took their medications in the morning or if they can never remember your name.
As caregivers we can never forget that our clients are still people battling a disease that they, themselves, don’t even understand. Often times, the frustration and stress of caring for someone with dementia can make us forget the basics of communication and interaction.
Let’s Chat is an activity that guides conversation between a dementia patient and caregiver. Bringing things back to basics can sometimes help to ease the frustrations and distract from the challenges of caregiving. Sit down with your client and ask questions like “Where did you grow up?” or “What is your favorite holiday?” Then LISTEN – give your client time to express themselves and really listen to what they are saying. Share a part of your life as well.