Changes in Communication during Alzheimer’s Disease and How to Manage them


During Alzheimer’s, patients need to communicate several emotions and needs to those around them. Prabhy Sodhi informs that communicating the same becomes a challenge as the disease progresses. The dementia expert continues to share that owing to various symptoms of this disorder, changes in speaking and listening grow over time. Depending on the type of changes, they can be managed too. Through a well-defined approach, caregivers can make communication simpler for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result of this, Mr. Sodhi believes that they can express themselves. Then the expressed problems can be managed as well.

Which Changes in Communication can Occur During Alzheimer’s Disease?

While an Alzheimer’s patient speaks, he or she may not remember the right words for specific items or concepts. Not being able to recall such words is one of the changes that occur in communication. This can prevent a patient from properly conveying her/his thoughts, needs, or situations to others.

  • Another change occurring during this disorder is the inability to understand words.
  • The patient can find it difficult to attend conversations.
  • Listening issues can arise, mentions Mr. Sodhi.
  • A person’s feelings may not be properly expressed due to speaking difficulties.
  • Especially when the pace of talking to patients is fast, they may not follow.
  • Often, they may lose the chain of thoughts while talking.

Why do Alzheimer’s Patients Experience Communication Difficulties?

Problems in communication can commonly take place when a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. These problems are chiefly a result of memory issues, mentions Prabhy Sodhi. As more stages of this type of dementia are crossed, an individual’s memory processes can become poor.

For this reason, they may neither remember the right words to use while talking nor understand the meanings of conversations. Hence, the dementia specialist, Mr. Sodhi postulates that processes such as speaking, understanding, and listening can become problematic. Since these are vital to communication, when they are properly completed, difficulties ought to come up.

How to Make Communication Easy in Alzheimer’s Disease?

The process to communicate with a person having Alzheimer’s can be broken down into several steps. This can simplify communication for both a caregiver and a patient. Also, regardless of the stage of this brain disorder, this approach to communication can prove to be easy.

1. Induce the Comfort to Communicate

A caregiver should start the communication process by making an Alzheimer’s patient comfortable. The environment where one intends to talk should be suitable, devoid of major distractions or noises. Importantly, the patient should not be tired or in an unlikely condition to talk.

2. Ensure that You Listen

As you start speaking, it is likely that the patient will respond too. While he/she talks, it is vital that you listen attentively. To do so, focus on the following:

  • Remain attentive verbally as well as non-verbally.
  • Observe the expressions of the person.
  • When the speech is not clear, rephrase it to confirm the meaning.

3. Focus on the Pace and Simplicity of Words

It is rightly suggested by Prabhy Sodhi that the pace of talking to a patient with Alzheimer’s disease should not be fast. In some cases, a fast pace can affect the ability to understand words. While ensuring this, try to use simple words, especially when communication difficulties are major.

4. Avoid Asking Any Questions

For patients with this type of dementia, it can be bothersome to answer questions. Particularly when the questions are complex, they can experience frustration. Hence, caregivers or close ones should refrain from doing so while exchanging words with patients.

How should Caregivers Prepare to Communicate with Alzheimer’s Patients?

Prior to communicating with any Alzheimer’s patient, it is important to make certain preparations. In order to do so, Mr. Sodhi finds it effective to think about the topic to be talked about. How it will be communicated to the patient should then be thought of.

  • Additionally, be prepared to exchange words in a positive way.
  • Compose your mind to be calm prior to and during the conversation.

Does Body Language Matter to Connect with Alzheimer’s Patients?

To remove difficulties while speaking or listening to a dementia patient, body language is important. The specialist, Mr. Sodhi advises that words can be hard to understand in some cases. Body language can support what is being said.

At times, using the right kind of body language can induce comfort. Then the patients undergoing Alzheimer’s disease can listen more attentively or speak with ease.

All Things Considered

Alzheimer’s can lead to changes in body and mind in relation to various aspects. Communication changes can occur in some patients. Prabhy Sodhi opines that these changes should be observed and managed using an approach. It can comprise creating a comfortable space and other helpful things to talk to patients.

Leave a comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No comments to show.