Communication Breakdown

The progression of Alzheimer’s often results in crossed wires and short circuits. Here’s how I’ve learned to improve verbal communication with my mom:

  1. Lower the tone of your voice. A raised pitch is a nonverbal signal that one is upset. A lower pitch is also easier for a hearing-impaired person to hear.
  2. Eliminate distracting noises or activities. Because of a possible hearing deficit and because of the person’s inability to tune extraneous things out, she may be unable to understand you when there are noises or distractions around her.
  3. Use short words and short, simple sentences. Instead of saying, “I think I’ll take the car to the garage tonight instead of in the morning because in the morning I’ll be stuck in traffic,” just say, “I’m going to take the car to the garage now.”

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