As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, patients are likely to have increased problems with speech and understanding language, which can make communication challenging for all parties involved. However, it’s very possible to continue to communicate with late-stage Alzheimer’s patients as the disease progresses—it simply requires patience, a new mindset, good listening skills, and different listening and speaking techniques.
Continuing to listen, communicate, and connect is not only important for maintaining relationships with late-stage Alzheimer’s patients but also for understanding how their function is changing with time to effectively adjust treatment and care plans to meet their changing needs.
Below, we provide basic information on communicating with late-stage Alzheimer’s patients, including what sorts of changes in communication to expect, helpful tips, and how to monitor changes in function to enable the best care and quality of life possible for patients.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that Alzheimer’s is a complex disease that affects each individual uniquely. It is essential to not make any assumptions regarding an Alzheimer’s patient’s ability to communicate. Communication with two patients in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease may look completely different. Typically, in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, you may expect changes in communication abilities such as those detailed below:
To improve understanding for both the patient and yourself, there are several things you can do. Some patients may still have the ability and desire to communicate verbally, while others may not be able to communicate verbally but can show their thoughts, needs, and emotions in other ways. Keep in mind that it is okay to not know exactly what to say—what matters is your presence, comfort, and friendship. Below are some helpful tips for communicating with late-stage Alzheimer’s patients.
Regularly interacting and communicating with late-stage Alzheimer’s patients can certainly give you a general understanding of how their brain function is changing over time to help inform proper adjustments to care and treatment. However, the ability to effectively update care plans in the most personalized manner possible requires routine testing of brain function to assess patients’ ability to complete Activities of Daily Living.
At Altoida, we are dedicated to providing a reliable, affordable, accessible, and highly accurate way to measure and monitor brain health. Our Precision Neurology platform and app-based medical device transform your smartphone or tablet into the world’s most powerful tool to assess brain health.
By completing a series of game-like augmented reality and motor activities designed to simulate Activities of Daily Living on a smartphone or tablet, Altoida’s device extracts and provides robust measurements of brain function across 13 unique neurocognitive domains. Our device measures and analyzes nearly 800 multimodal cognitive and functional digital biomarkers backed by 11 years of clinical validation.
These sensitive measurements can be tracked over time to determine specific changes in function to inform highly personalized treatment and care planning and achieve the most precise and effective patient care possible.
To learn more about communicating with late-stage Alzheimer’s patients or about Altoida’s Precision Neurology platform and medical device, contact us today.