7 Ways to Help Alzheimer’s when have Trouble expressing self

Many people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia have a difficult time expressing themselves.

Often they cannot find the work or get the word to roll off of their tongue, although they long to.

Sign Language is one way to help people express themselves
Sign Language is one way to help people express themselves

Some ways in which to combat this are:

  1. Teach sign language for simple words {drink, eat, bathroom, etc.}
  2. Have picture cards for the person to point to {food, bed, family, shower, etc.}
  3. Watch non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, posture, gestures, clenched hands, etc.
  4. Understand a native language {ex. I had a man that was a missionary to Africa. He would divert to that language at times.  Understanding words for that language helped to understand his needs.}
  5. Use music to soothe. Often music helps a person with the disease to find words they are having trouble finding. Also, playing an instrument can provide a way for self-expression.
  6. Ask to draw or paint a picture {if capable—mid to late stages may not have the capability}
  7. Point to what they would like.
  8. Bonus: We’ve discovered that sometimes playing charades also helps in expressing oneself.


How do you help your loved one express themselves when they struggle?

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