Where can I find information on how to tell older grandchildren how to talk to their grandmother with dementia?

Asked by

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
Top Answer
How old is 'older grandchildren'? My mother-in-law has dementia and her memory is about as long as a gnats eyebrow these days. She has grand children and great grandchildren, but the grand kids are all over 20 years old, so they know how to talk to their grandma. As for the great grands, they're all grade school age and younger and they also know how to talk to her. It's however the adults talk to my mother-in-law. Meaning, we talk, we visit, we chat like normal with her knowing full well she won't remember what we said 5 minutes later, but we do it anyway. I tell my husband (her 3rd son) that I live in the moment with his mom when I talk to her. He gets frustrated that he has to repeat himself constantly, but then again he's a rookie at taking care of her. ha Practice DOES make perfect in her situation. If the grandmother you're talking about doesn't remember who people are anymore, then I guess you'll have to repeat a thousand times to her their names. Just teach by example, it'll be fine.
The kids are college age to 25. They seem to confuse her, she knows who they are, but one told her to "not worry about my birthday card" and this created all sorts of confusion! Live in the moment is a great way to put it, thanks! The kids talk fast and loud so I was trying to slow them down, too crazy. She withdraws and feels she can't keep up with the talks. This is new to us. Thanks for your answer, I am so happy I found this website.
I have taught my kids 17 and younger its not about words but actions. My kids keep it simple sometimes just a hug and I love you grandma. My one son plays guitar for her( he is just learning so it isn't pretty but she listens with a smile). We have ALL slowed down(I have done it for years) our sentences and keep our voices down. For me I do it a thousand times a day but it took some correction for the kids to get it. Mom forgets in moments these days, so the kids aren't able to go into detail about school,etc... She will forget before they are done. So short simple sentences works. My mom don't really speak understandably so its a one-sided conversation. But I enforce the fact that its still there grandma and they need to show her respect to her. They do shy away cause its hard for them to really understand, I want to push them but I have to let them do it on their time.
Thank you yellowfeever. This has really helped! They will go in detail about school and it is confusing to her. I think they get nervous about Gram changing. I think I pushed a bit and didn't know I was doing that. We could sing some carols, that is a great idea with the music!
Good question and a good answer yellow fever. My Mom is slowing down as well. I also have to add don't say things that will upset her and that she doesn't need to know.
I feel like I am hiding things that I don't tell her, but I know it's for the better. Thanks keepontryintM, we'll hang in there!
Refer to a book titlled, " Talking To Alzheimer's" . It is excellent!! It addresses speaking to individuals at all different stages of this illness. Even gives you examples of the exact words to use. The author' s name is not at hand at this moment so I will provide this in a later post ASAP.
Thank You xmart! I will look for this book, very helpful.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support