After speech is lost, how can we communicate effectively with an Alzheimer's patient?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 19, 2016
Ildiko korodi asked...

How can we communicate effectively with a person who has Alzheimer"s and has lost the ability of speech? She is Italian and also speaks English.

Expert Answers

A social worker and geriatric consultant who specializes in dementia care, Joyce Simard is based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and in Prague. She is a well-known speaker and has written two books, one focusing on end-of-life care and the other, entitled The Magic Tape Recorder, explaining aging, memory loss, and how children can be helpers to their elders.

Use clues and cues. For instance when it is time to eat, gesture eating and take her hand while beckoning her with the other hand. Showing her soap, a towel, and a bathrobe will help signal that it is time to bathe.

Also don't be surprised if she loses her understanding of English as her disease progresses and will only understand Italian. You may need to resort to holding cue cards written in Italian if you do not speak the language.