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Communicating Effectively with a Senior with Late-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Home Care in Fort Lauderdale FL

Late stage Alzheimer’s disease is an incredibly difficult time in your home care journey with your aging parent. In this stage your parent’s cognitive and physical functioning will have declined to Home-Care-in-Fort-Lauderdale-FLthe point that they will need continuous care. At this stage they may be incapable of communicating with you effectively. This can be stressful and frustrating, but it does not have to negatively impact your relationship with your aging parent. Focusing on effective communication can help ensure more meaningful interactions and better care efforts throughout this final stage of progression.


Use these tips to help you communicate effectively with a senior with late stage Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Remove blame. Blaming your parent for these challenges will only make you feel more frustrated, upset, and even resentful toward your loved one. Blaming yourself will only make you feel guilty and like you are not giving your parent the quality of care that they need and deserve. Make a conscious effort to remove blame from the situation. Your parent cannot control the progression of their disease and is not responsible for how the disease impacts their cognitive functioning or emotional abilities. You are also not capable of controlling the disease and are not responsible for your parent not being able to communicate in the same way as they used to. Removing this blame will relieve tension and allow you to focus your effort and energy on the actual care of your parent rather than worrying.
  • Use reminders. It is possible that your parent will not recognize you or be able to remember your relation to them. Rather than getting upset about this or just letting it go, use reminders when you talk with them. Tell them your name and remind them of who you are so that they can feel more at ease. This does not have to be a major event. You can simply use it as part of the beginning of your care day. When you walk into the home or your parent’s bedroom, simply say something like “Hello, Mom, it is your daughter, Ann,” or “Hi, Dad, your son Brad and your grandchildren are here.” This will make them feel less like a stranger has shown up and can trigger memories that help them remember you.
  • Avoid questions. Asking questions can be overwhelming or confusing to your parent. Whenever possible, avoid asking questions and instead provide a solution for your parent to follow. For example, rather than asking “Are you hungry?” say “I think it is time to eat” or “It is lunchtime.”
  • Speak literally. Remember that your aging parent is dealing with marked cognitive decline at this stage and will not be able to process the language as effectively. This means it is essential that you speak literally and clearly. Even if your parent used turns of phrase and expressions all the time when they were younger, now these phrases could be upsetting or confusing. For example, you do not want to tell your parent to “hop into bed” or suggest that you drink a cup of coffee and “chew the fat”. These phrases may make your parent unsure of what to do and make them feel anxious. Instead use clear, concise language to make it as easy as possible to follow.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Fort Lauderdale, FL, please contact the caring staff at Alternative Home Health Care today. Call (954) 622-0588.



Zachary Desmond, Executive Administrator

Executive Administrator at Alternative Home Health Care
Zach Desmond began working with Alternative Home Health Care in September of 2013. In his role as Executive Administrator (EA), Zach is responsible for the overall direction of the organization and high level strategy that aligns with the company’s overall mission, vision, and values.

Zach brings to Alternative 10 years of healthcare operations, sales, finance, and “turn around” experience, having led multiple home health care locations across five states to profitability and sustainability. His history of improving customer service, work flow design, and operational efficiencies along with bottom line profitability has earned him awards and recognition a top performer. Zach realized early on in his career that he felt a true connection to caring for those who need help and ensuring they received the highest quality of care available.

Zach received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Zach resides in Fort Lauderdale with his wife, three dogs, one cat and stays very involved in his local community.

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