Communication Tips That Spark a Connection With a Parent Who Has Alzheimer’s
In the latter stages of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s harder to communicate with your mom. She often forgets who you are, so she won’t speak or becomes fearful of the stranger in her home. How do you connect with her at this point?
Bake Favorite Foods
Think back to the foods your mom loved to make when you were younger. Was she known for her homemade bread? Start making bread and see if she’ll help measure or add ingredients to the bowl. Kneading the dough is an excellent way to work arthritic fingers and wrists. It also enables you to release stress. Your mom may enjoy doing this with you.
Once it’s baked, you also have a loaf of bread you can serve for a snack or afternoon tea. Your mom might remember having tea parties when you were younger and find that is an enjoyable way to engage with you now.
Turn to Arts and Crafts
Be artistic in some way and see if your mom joins in. Get crayons and coloring books and color. She may join you. Paints are another way to engage with her. A box of watercolors or a paint-with-water book are both good ideas.
If those don’t seem like things she’d enjoy, you can look at other types of arts and crafts. She might enjoy creating a collage using old photos or modeling chocolate flowers from marzipan or fondant to decorate cupcakes.
Music is one of the best ways to connect in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Play music you know your mom loved when she was younger. She may surprise you by singing along or dancing to the beat.
When you’re choosing music, try to focus on the music from the time that seems to be most familiar to her. If she often talks about her favorite foods as a teen, look for music from her teen years. If her early-20s are the time she finds most familiar, choose songs from that era.
In-home care services are just as helpful to your mom as they are to you. Your mom gets to interact with someone new. It helps her with socialization. In-home care providers are experienced in getting people with dementia to join them for activities, so your mom will stay busy and engaged.
Plus, you get to take a break and leave your mom in the hands of a professional caregiver. Call an in-home care provider to learn more.