Dementia creates a whole host of problems for your elderly family member, but one of the biggest issues that it can create involves making communication much more difficult. These are just some of the difficulties you might notice your senior experiencing as dementia begins to play more of a role in her life.
Trouble Remembering Specific Words.
Everyone has had that moment when they’re looking for that one right word and it escapes them. That’s really frustrating, but people who have dementia experience this all the time. Your elderly family member might be in the middle of a sentence and stumble because she’s unable to find the right word. Some people start to avoid talking because they have such issues with finding the right words.
Difficulty with Abstract Ideas.
As dementia progresses, your senior is bound to have more trouble dealing with and talking about more abstract concepts. Concrete situations are a little easier because they’re more tangible for her. Abstract situations require your senior’s brain to hold onto concepts that are much more complex for her brain to work through.
Difficulty Expressing Ideas and Thoughts.
The problem isn’t always understanding more abstract concepts and thoughts, though. Your elderly family member may be able to understand those concepts still, but have extreme difficulty expressing them to you. The ideas are there, but the words to express them to someone else are impossible to find.
Repeating Questions or Stories
Familiar phrases, questions, and stories can become comforting to your senior if she has dementia. This is often the reason that they become such an often-repeated series of utterances for your elderly family member. Repetition can be something that your senior leans on when she has a need that isn’t being met or when there’s something not quite right.
Lapsing into a First Language.
Dementia creates problems with newer memories, often leaving memories from your senior’s past intact. Even so, it can be disconcerting when your elderly family member starts to find it easier to communicate in a native language than she does in a language you’ve known her to use for most of her life. This is not uncommon at all and might necessitate that you brush up a bit on that language so that you can help make communication more comfortable for her.
As you learn more about dementia and about helping your elderly family member to cope, you can work around these difficulties. One solution that can help quite a lot is to hire senior care providers who have experience working with people who have dementia. They can help you to master techniques that make communication much easier.