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Caregiving Chronicles

News and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and beyond.

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Caregiving Chronicles will present news and analysis on caregiving topics in MetroWest and around the world, in-depth Q&As with experts in fields related to caregiving and updates and announcements about caregiving resources available in MetroWest from CaregivingMetroWest.org Program Director Douglas Flynn.


Tips for caregivers to help better communicate with a loved one with Alzheimer's
By Douglas Flynn / May 30, 2017

Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia is filled with many challenges. One of the hardest for caregivers is communicating with their loved one, especially as the disease progresses and their loved one's cognitive skills decline.

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, a service of the National Institute on Aging, has provided some helpful tips to make communication easier between caregivers and their loved ones.

Those tips include:

- Make eye contact and call the person by name;
- Be aware of your tone, how loud your voice is, how you look at the person, and your body language;
- Encourage two-way conversation for as long as possible;
- Use other methods besides speaking, such as gentle touching; and
- Try distracting the person if communication creates problems.

For more information on making communication easier while caring for someone with dementia, check out the National Institute on Aging's "Alzheimer's Caregiving Tips: Changes in Communications Skills." (pdf)

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center also has an in-depth guidebook, "Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease" that covers many more topics to help caregivers.

BayPath Elder Services, Inc. and its Caregiving MetroWest program also provide a FREE, six-session workshop specifically for people caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. The Savvy Caregiver program will help you:

- Understand the impact of dementia on both you and the person you are caring for;
- Learn the skills you need to manage daily life;
- Take control and set goals; 
- Communicate more effectively;
- Strengthen family resources;
- Feel better about your caregiving; and
- Take care of you.

The next offering of the Savvy Caregiver program will be on Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. beginning on July 11 and running weekly until August 15 at the Southborough Senior Center (9 Cordaville Road, Southborough, MA).

The workshop will be facilitated by certified instructors Alicia Rego, the BayPath Elder Services Caregiver Specialist, and Douglas Flynn, the Caregiving MetroWest Program Manager. 

There is no cost to participate, but registration is required and you must be currently caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. For more information or to register, call Southborough Senior Center Program Coordinator Peg Leonard or Outreach Coordinator Cynthia Beard at 508-229-4453.



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BayPath Elder Services, Inc

Caregiving MetroWest is a no-cost program of BayPath Elder Services, Inc.

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Caregiving MetroWest was made possible in part by grants from the MetroWest Health Foundation.