Improving Communication with a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease

Home Care in Transfer PA

One of the most noticeable and often emotionally challenging changes that occur in seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive inability to communicate effectively. Communication Home-Care-in-Transfer-PAis how you engage and interact with the world around you, and how you and your aging parent maintain your relationship as well as ensure that care efforts are handled properly. Realizing that your parent is no longer able to communicate with you the way that they used to can be upsetting, but it can also be frustrating. You want to be able to interact with your loved one and get the information from them that you need, and it can be hard to confront the reality that their ability to do this is forever changed. Focusing your attention on improving your communication with your senior with Alzheimer’s disease and modifying these efforts as your parent progresses through the disease can reduce your stress and improve your care efforts as well as your relationship.


Use these tips to help you improve your communication with a senior with Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Be patient. Sometimes the challenge that your parent will face is slowed communication. It might take longer for them to find the right words to say or to deliver those words. Be patient and allow them to communicate independently as much as possible. Resist the temptation to just finish their sentences or respond before they are finished speaking. This is disrespectful and demeaning, and may discourage your parent from speaking further. Instead, be patient and give them the time that they need to figure out what they want to say and to express it. If they really seem to be struggling, consider gently suggesting words to get them going again, but do not assume that you know what they want to say.
  • Be supportive. Your parent is likely very aware that they are going through these changes and that they are having serious communication difficulties. This is not easy for them and they are probably embarrassed, upset, and frustrated. Offering emotional support and encouragement can help them to feel more at ease and more confident in their communication abilities. If your parent is struggling to communicate and starts to get upset, reassure them that it is OK and that you are not upset with them. Tell them that you are there for them and that they can take their time.
  • Be flexible. Communication does not always have to be spoken. You can communicate effectively with your aging parent just through gestures, written words, and other forms of communication. Encourage these and work with them just as you would with spoken communication. You can also use non-verbal communication to reinforce what you are saying. For example, if you want to ask your parent what type of drink they might enjoy, hold up each of the containers and say the name of the beverage. This will give your parent a verbal cue as well as a visual cue. They can then decide how to respond effectively.


The staff at CareGivers Plus is available to talk with you and your family about all of your needs. CareGivers Plus provides quality and affordable Home Care in Transfer, PA and the surrounding areas. Call 724-638-7110 for more information.

About Robert Devine

Robert Devine is Owner and Administrator at Caregivers Plus Home Health Care of Hermitage, PA.

Whether it’s conversation and company, or just eating a meal together, having someone to sit and visit with can help make for a happier, healthier life.

Caregivers Plus has been operating as a locally owned family-operated home care agency in Mercer County since 1994.