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Tag: dementia

Tips for Communicating with a Senior Experiencing Memory Loss

Communicating with a senior who’s experiencing memory loss or dementia can be a challenging or frustrating experience, but it’s a must to maintain a meaningful social connection. Your loved one might not only struggle to recall recent events but also find it difficult to follow conversations or find the right words to express themselves. In this month’s blog, we’ll share some tips to help you communicate with empathy with your loved one and to make communication easier for them.

Shift to Elderspeak

Elderspeak is a communication style that involves using a softer tone, simpler language, and respectful terms of endearment. But don’t use it to a fault as it can be harmful for seniors. Simply put, avoid complex sentences that may confuse or overwhelm them. Use short and straightforward sentences to help facilitate understanding and help determine if your loved one needs help.

Related: Learn more about signs your aging parents need immediate help at home here.

Maintain a Calm and Positive Tone

The tone and demeanor you adopt during conversations can greatly impact the person’s emotional state. It’s crucial to maintain a calm and positive tone, even if they struggle to remember or express themselves. Avoid getting frustrated or correcting them constantly; instead, show patience and understanding. Your positive energy and reassuring attitude can create a safe and comfortable environment for open communication especially if your loved one is a dementia patient.

Related: Learn more about how to catch early signs of dementia in seniors here.

Use Visual Cues and Non-verbal Communication

When words fail, visual cues and non-verbal communication can play a significant role in conveying your message. Use gestures, facial expressions, and body language to enhance understanding. Pointing to objects or using pictures can help illustrate your point and trigger memories. Non-verbal cues can often convey emotions and intentions more effectively than words alone, facilitating a deeper connection.


If you’re loved one is a dementia or Alzheimer’s patient, rely on Home Instead Senior Care for compassionate care. Our trained caregivers specialize in providing compassionate and person-centered care for seniors with cognitive impairments. Contact us at (910) 342-0455 or visit our website at for more information. We are here to support you and your family on this journey of caring for your loved one with memory loss.

How to Catch Early Signs of Dementia in Seniors

Dementia is becoming a common problem in society. Almost 6.5 million people have been actively diagnosed with dementia, and that number is projected to rise to 13 million by 2050, according to a 2022 report from the Alzheimer’s Association. As people age, they become prone to dementia. Here are some of the early signs of dementia in seniors.

1. Loss of Short Term Memory

The first sign of dementia is the change in short-term memory retention. Having trouble memorizing or forgetting daily tasks involving short-term memory is an early sign of dementia. People with dementia may also display other changes in their short-term memory, such as forgetting where they placed items and struggling to remember why they entered a particular room.

Related: “Improving Cognitive Health of Elderly People”

2. Difficulty in Managing and Finishing Daily Tasks

A subtle shift in the ability to complete everyday tasks is another possible early warning sign of dementia. This usually starts with difficulty doing more complex tasks, like balancing a checkbook, keeping track of bills, following a recipe, or playing a game with many rules. Along with the struggle to complete familiar tasks, a person with dementia may struggle to learn to do new things or follow new routines.

3. Struggling to Navigate Paths

A person who has dementia loses their sense of direction and spatial orientation needed to navigate their way around the block. They may have difficulty recognizing once-familiar landmarks and forget how to get to familiar places they used to have no trouble finding. Following a series of directions and step-by-step instructions may also become more challenging.

4. Losing Interest in Hobbies

As a person ages, it is rare for them to lose interest in things and hobbies they used to enjoy in their youth. This kind of behavior change is an alarming sign of dementia. They may also lose interest in spending time with friends and family and seem emotionally flat. This apathetic behavior can potentially indicate dementia.

Related: “How to Take Care of an Alzheimer’s Patient – The Ultimate Guide”


When your loved one displays troubling symptoms, you’ll need highly experienced caregivers who are experienced with dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. At Home Instead Senior Care, our CAREGivers are professionally trained to care for your loved ones. With proper care and assistance, our team will keep your loved ones active and mentally stimulated so they can enjoy life to the fullest. Call us at (910) 421-2572 for further information. 

How to Lower the Risk of Dementia

There is a list of general advice that emerges from reading about dementia prevention. Many know the drill: constant exercise, nutritional diet, and abstinence from smoking. But the specifics can get fuzzy; what does “constant” exercise look like? Is it a daily thing? Is it perhaps a weekly thing? Or maybe it’s even hourly. In addition, excusing laziness and not adhering to these rules becomes terribly easy in the hustle and bustle of life. And after a while, the effectiveness of those vague listicles fades. So below are some specific examples to help:

The ravages of dementia.


BETTER: Face your fears. Make new friends. And we can do it together.

What does “healing from depression” look like exactly? Is it taking antidepressants until one feels better? What about the side effects? And what about the side effects of those side effects? Thankfully, there is one suggestion that has stood the test of time: “Face your fears.” Of course, contextualization is important here. This doesn’t mean “Go endanger your own life by wrestling with the Nemean Lion”; it means getting out of one’s comfort zone and attempting some derring-do. What better way to snap out of a slump than to be exhilarated by surviving that ‘nightmare scenario’? So go strike up a conversation with that “unapproachable” neighbor. Go mingle with those nerds from that photography club. Be reconciled to that estranged family member. You’re in for a surprise! (Social isolation is not just linked to dementia and depression, but also chronic illness and early mortality.)


Better: Reduce the use of immobilizing devices.

High blood pressure (hypertension) can lead to the narrowing or bursting of blood vessels. And, it is this reduction of blood flow that is detrimental to the supply of oxygen and can, in turn, lead to the blockage or even death of brain cells. The affected person may experience trouble with communication, memory, or speech. Because obesity can increase blood pressure, it can also bring about vascular dementia (a type of dementia in which the patient has trouble making judgments, recalling things, and other mental activities).

So what is the guideline for combating obesity? Well, it would include a nutritional diet, of course. But it also means ditching sedentariness-encouraging devices like those hoverchairs in WALL-E that perform nearly every task for you. It means taking the stairs instead of the escalators, walking the bike instead of riding it, and sleeping right.


Better: Join our acapella group. Let’s listen to this physics-themed podcast together.

The assumption in that first bit—“do sudokus or suffer dementia”—is not only hackneyed but also has been debunked; doing crossword puzzles and sudokus had been thought to stop cognitive decline. While it may give a headstart of sorts, it apparently cannot actually deter deterioration.

But that does not mean keeping the mind active is unnecessary. Dissect that movie that has a convoluted plotline. Memorize that Shakespearean sonnet. But if film analysis and iambic pentameters are not one’s specialties, that is no problem at all. Music is another great way to achieve that same goal. In fact, because music enables the simultaneous use of various parts of the brain, it apparently prolongs the period for which even those with dementia can retain their linguistic skills.

“Knew it. Never touch the sudoku!”


Better: We can be your accountability partners. Call us whenever.

Although one of the most preventable causes of early death, cigarette or tobacco addiction is yet a stronghold in the lives of many. Smoking can lead to chromatic pulmonary diseases, asthma, coronary heart disease, strokes, lung cancers, and more. But, temptation can make one believe all sorts of lies; one can believe that a moment of fleeting pleasure is worth suffering all these things. And isolation only makes temptations easier to fall prey to.

One helpful way to quit smoking is to form an accountability group that is full of immovable members who are committed to being vulnerable in the presence of all. And don’t forget to celebrate all the victories over temptations along the way, of course.


Better: I made this fresh-squeezed fruit juice. Want some? It’s way better than booze.

Even better: I have a new recipe. These new berries and tuna salad are the bomb. I can cook these for you whenever. It helps lower your cholesterol.

This one is similar to #4. Accountability and unconditional love go a long way.


Better: Let’s do the floss dance. And then do some gardening.

Research shows that those who are frail are often more prone to falling prey to dementia. But not everyone is a natural gym rat. And even for the overachiever, exercising is an acquired taste. Imposing this way of life on those who are wheelchaired or have arthritis-ridden joints will not be easy. But with unconditional love and whispers of encouragement, many can conquer mountains. Exercise, when done right, not only lowers cortisol levels (often indicative of stress) but also releases endorphins (analgesic hormones).

Switching up a regimen or two can also make things more adventurous. Try cycling for a change instead of jogging along that same route. And perhaps for starters, aerobic activities such as gardening or dancing can suffice. Playing “The Floor Is Lava” with grandchildren may also be a fun switch of pace. After all, it’s like slow parkour!

“I shall deflect you, dementia!”

More Dementia Prevention Hacks: