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Dementia: How to Tweak Surroundings and Your Tone of Voice to Improve Communication

If you’re caring for a loved one who is cognitively impaired, this hour is for you. Dr. Shawn Weiss joins Suzanne this hour to talk about ways of adjusting the home environment to improve the quality of life for those who face cognitive challenges.

Environment plays a major role in daily success, especially as symptoms progress. Adding lavender and vanilla through diffusers can provide a calming effect, reducing stress. It helps to set lights lower after dinnertime. Colors have a huge affect as well.

Communicate with more of a soothing tone of view, and use calmer body language. Avoid jargon, and speak one step at a time. If you want to maximize what they can do, rather than toss out lots of instructions, because the brain is processing more slowly, give them one instruction at a time, and give them time to process it. Simple tweaks can help. For instance, avoid asking they want to take a shower, because they can say no. Instead, say “It’s time to take a shower, let’s go take a shower.”

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Learn more:
* Shawn Weiss
* Senior Health and Wellness website

Hear more podcasts about:
* Aging in place
* Dementia

Answers for Elders is part of the Senior Resource Network
Check out our affiliate podcast Alzheimer’s Speaks