Communication

Whether speaking with the care receiver, simple and direct communication is best. Involve the care receiver in so far as able in the development and implementation of their care plan. Identify their strengths and focus on how they can participate in the caregiving. Cognitive impairment does not always mean that the ability to make task-specific decisions is gone.

Make sure you have the person's attention before speaking. Call them by name. Minimize distractions and use short sentences. Allow adequate time for response. Don't interrupt.

When providing hands-on care, explain what you are doing one step at a time. If the care receiver objects, try restating what your intentions are. It may be necessary for you to return to the activity at a later time.

Clear communication with health and social service professionals can greatly improve the caregiving. Don't be afraid to ask questions. No question is unimportant. This will help get your concerns and questions addressed, assessments accurately completed, and the best services for your family member.