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Communicating With Body Language

Part 2: How to Communicate with a Loved One Experiencing Dementia

Communication can become difficult for individuals as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia progresses, but communication is more than just verbal interaction. Using your body movements, hand gestures, and facial expressions will help emphasize the words you are saying verbally.

Allow your loved ones with dementia to maintain their sense of independence by providing additional signals of communication with your body language. Physical contact and expression are very important when communicating through speech becomes too difficult.

Using Your Body to Talk Without Words

When you notice that your loved one is having trouble understanding or responding to you, concentrate on how you’re communicating with them both verbally and non-verbally.

  1. Be patient and provide ample time for them to respond.
  2. Use a positive or friendly tone of voice when possible.
  3. Speak to them at eye level and provide them with physical space so they don’t feel crowded or intimidated.
  4. Hold their hand when talking to draw their attention to you and create a feeling of connection.
  5. Allow them to communicate however they want or need to.

Issues with communication can lead to frustration and misunderstanding. Providing additional support through body language may help your loved one feel more confident communicating with you.

Willow River is Here to Help

At Willow River, we understand the challenges that Alzheimer’s and dementia can bring. If you have questions or need help, Willow River has the answers and resources you need. Call Willow River Senior Living at 888-546-1886 or contact us through our website to start the conversation today.