What Can a Senior with Dementia Comprehend?

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How Does Dementia Affect Comprehension in Oakville, ON

Dementia is a progressive condition, and in the early stages, most seniors continue to do things independently. As the symptoms worsen, cognitive health decreases, affecting many skills and actions. Continue reading to learn whether seniors with dementia can understand what’s being said to them and discover ways to enhance communication with your elderly parent.

Challenges of Connecting Multiple Ideas

With dementia, the body has difficulty responding to messages sent from the brain due to the connectivity problems caused by the condition. Dementia alters the way your senior loved one thinks, feels, and reacts. Your parent may not understand what to do with the spoon on the table until you move the utensil to his or her mouth. Over time, understanding a crucial brain command such as walking away from a hot stove is difficult for seniors with dementia, which is why they should never be left alone as the condition worsens.

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Moments of Clarity

It’s more challenging to remember essential information in the middle and late stages of dementia, but seniors may have occasional moments of clarity. Your loved one may not follow the conversation, but after hearing a specific sound or watching your expression, he or she may comprehend your question or the topic being discussed. Remain patient and give your loved one time to decipher what you’re saying. If your parent feels rushed, he or she could give up altogether or lash out at you and others.


In many situations, seniors with dementia know what they want to say but cannot find the right words, which often leads to anger and aggression. If you notice your loved one becoming agitated during a conversation, try to distract him or her with another activity until he or she has calmed down. After a few minutes, your loved one may remember what he or she wanted to say, easing the frustration.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oakville Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.


In the advanced stages of dementia, memory and cognitive skills are usually at their lowest, and your loved one may find it difficult to remember the names of familiar people, places, and objects. However, it could help if you remain consistent with your loved one’s schedule. Eating dinner every day at the same time and in the same room could provide some normalcy, even if your loved one is unaware of what’s taking place. The consistency could boost your loved one’s mental and emotional wellbeing, lowering the risk of combative behavior.

Communication Tips

Use both nonverbal and verbal communication strategies when asking questions or having a discussion with your loved one. Using your hand to point to a door could make more sense than asking your loved one if he or she wants to leave. Remember to consider your loved one’s feelings when choosing phrases. The tone and emotions attached to how you relay a message or give a suggestion are often more powerful than the words you use. Always treat your parent with respect, regardless of the stage of the condition.

If you’re looking for reliable dementia care, Oakville Home Care Assistance offers high-quality at-home care for seniors who are managing the challenges of cognitive decline. We offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses mentally stimulating activities to boost cognitive health in the elderly. CTM has proven to help seniors with dementia regain a sense of pride and accomplishment and learn how to engage with others in an enjoyable way. Reach out to us at Home Care Assistance if you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (905) 337-1200.


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