Edgewood Communities is inviting the public to join Janell Sluga, Geriatric Care Manager Certified, for a free seminar on "How to Communicate with Someone with Dementia." It will take place on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel, on the Lutheran Campus, 715 Falconer St., in Jamestown. Reservations are appreciated by calling Patty Eckwahl at 720-9122.
"Many of my clients struggle with knowing what to say to their loved ones with dementia and that they don't understand what the person is trying to communicate," said Sluga. "They also feel they are on a roller coaster ride of emotions and don't know what the day will bring. One moment their loved one is alert and happy and other times they seem angry and frustrated."
According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias can gradually diminish a person's ability to communicate. Not only do people with dementia have more difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions, they also have more trouble understanding others.
Janell Sluga, Geriatric Care Manager Certified with Senior Life Matters (standing) coaches Sharon Hamilton on ways to communicate and maintain her close relationship with her mother, a resident of Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program. Sluga will be offering a free seminar on how to communicate with a person with dementia on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Christ’s Chapel on the Lutheran Campus.
"Continuing a positive communication style is so important," Sluga said. "Actually, simpler is better. I'll share some strategies to help caregivers simplify the way they communicate and stress the importance of how we are perceived based on our body language, other non-verbal cues and our tone of voice. It's natural for a caregiver to feel frustrated at times. These emotions are quickly felt by the person with dementia and it can set the tone for their behavior." She will also share resources available, and there will be time for a Q and A.
The Best of Times Seminar Series is sponsored by Edgewood Communities at Lutheran. More than 500 people have attended the seminars. The goal is to provide information and support to help people plan well so they can age well.
Edgewood Communities is located on the Lutheran Campus off Falconer Street in Jamestown. Units include one- and two-bedroom apartments, duplex homes and the new Smartment Building. For more information about the seminar or Lutheran Housing, call Patricia Eckwahl or log onto www.lutheran-jamestown.org/senior-housing.