Communication tips reduce difficult Alzheimer’s behaviors
New communication styles can help you reduce difficult Alzheimer’s behaviors and improve quality of life for both you and your older adult.
We found a free Alzheimer’s Association webinar that’s full of practical, useful communication tips that have worked in countless real-life situations.
The tips are shared through stories from real caregiver experiences so it’s interesting and easy to follow.
We share an overview of the webinar with timestamps so you can jump quickly to the sections you’re most interested in.
Get dementia care tips based on real world experiences
This Compassionate Communication video is helpful to both new and experienced caregivers.
In it, dementia educator Alexandra Morris shares tips for how to talk with seniors with dementia. Alexandra is a gerontologist who’s been solving tough Alzheimer’s care challenges for nearly 20 years. She truly understands what caregivers are up against.
Her talk is full of stories of the families she’s helped and the challenges they’ve overcome. She shares creative ideas and role-playing scenarios where you can see how changing your responses can influence your older adult’s behavior to become calmer and more positive.
Watching the video is like listening to a good friend who’s also an expert in caring for people with dementia. Alexandra uses plain language and explains how symptoms often show up in real life.
Note: She sometimes uses the term “perseverance” or “perseverating.” That’s when someone keeps trying to do something over and over even though they’re not able to succeed.
Overview of Compassionate Communication video
This free video covers solutions for dozens of common dementia care scenarios. It’s about an hour long so, as a busy caregiver, it might be more realistic to watch a little at a time.
Online videos are handy because you can watch on your smartphone or computer when you have a few minutes.
We’ve outlined the major sections and when they start in the video. That way, you can jump to the parts you’re most interested in.
Alexandra is a natural storyteller and illustrates every point with scenarios and role playing that bring the techniques to life.
- Understand how the disease works and how it affects your older adult.
10 minutes 50 seconds
- Prevent and reduce difficult behaviors like refusing help, anxiety, wanting to overfeed pets, and more.
- Learn different communication methods like using body language, staying very calm, softening your words, and being flexible.
- Their environment affects someone with dementia.
- Adjust your approach, think ahead about tough situations, and let some things go.
- Match activities to abilities, break things down to small tasks.
- Choose kindness over truth if you can’t do both.
- Using humor appropriately.
47 minutes 30 seconds
- A list of key Do’s and Don’ts with plenty of helpful examples.
Using common situations, Alexandra role plays 7 scenarios that illustrate how the Do’s and Don’ts work in practice.
- Why do I have to go to the doctor? What’s wrong with me?
- I didn’t write this check for $500. Somebody is forging my signature!
- Nobody is going to make decisions for me. You can go now…and don’t come back!
- Who are you and where’s my husband?!
- I’m not eating this. I hate chicken!
59 minutes 15 seconds
- How to figure why difficult or worrying dementia behavior is happening – being the detective.
- Prioritizing what needs to be solved.
- Removing behavior triggers.
1 hour 2 minutes 20 seconds
- Get a summary of essential techniques with more real-life examples of how they defuse tough situations.
1 hour 6 minutes 30 seconds
Alexandra talks about the Alzheimer’s Association’s services (most are free), including:
- 24/7 helpline
- Coaching families through tough situations on a case-by-case basis
- Support groups for families and for those with early stage dementia
- Medic alert safe return bracelet program for wandering
- Connecting people with research trials (whether you’re healthy or have a health condition)