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Health Tip: Talking to a Person With Alzheimer's Disease

Suggestions to help improve communication

(HealthDay News) -- As Alzheimer's disease progresses, communicating becomes more of a challenge.

The U.S. National Institute on Aging offers these suggestions for talking to someone with Alzheimer's:

  • Speak in a calm, soothing tone of voice.
  • Use simple, short words and sentences -- but avoid baby talk, or speaking like you would to a child.
  • Avoid talking about the person in front of him or her.
  • Turn off the TV, radio or any other possible distractions when trying to communicate.
  • Get the person's full attention before speaking, and refer to the person by name.
  • If the person is trying to communicate but is having trouble finding words, gently try to suggest words the person may be looking for.
  • Be patient and give the person plenty of time to think and respond.
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