Communication Tips for Caregivers
Here are some tips to help guide you while you care for your loved one.
It can be challenging to know how to talk to someone who is experiencing things you can’t see or hear, but there are a few things you can do to communicate with your loved one more effectively.
Speak calmly, clearly, and simply. For example, try to discuss one issue at a time.
If they are withdrawing socially, try to engage your loved one with light and positive conversation.
Be sensitive to how your loved one is feeling. It’s possible to acknowledge the seeming reality of your loved one’s beliefs without supporting their delusions.
Practice active listening: Lean in and pay close attention to what they are saying and repeat it back to them to confirm you have understood.
If your loved one is behaving in a way you don’t understand, try to ask questions to get the motive behind their behavior. By understanding their motive, you may be able to encourage different behavior.
If your loved one is saying or doing something that you don’t understand, try to ask questions to get to what the motive for their behavior is. That way, you can use that motivation to encourage a different behavior.
If your loved one is refusing to take their medication, try to focus your conversation on how medication is a key tool to help achieve their goals.
Remind your loved one that you want them to make a clear, informed decision today. That way, you can be of assistance to their treatment team if there’s an emergency.
Read up about schizophrenia as much as you can…go to classes…get in a support group.... I needed to get more knowledge to understand what we were dealing with....
– A schizophrenia community member
Create Your Own Treatment Change Discussion Guide
Everyone’s schizophrenia treatment plan and journey is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all list of questions to ask when you or your loved one is considering making a change in medication. This customizable guide will help you have a better discussion with your treatment team based on the things that are important to you.
There are 2 kinds of questions in this guide:
Questions to ask yourself before meeting with your treatment team
Questions to ask your healthcare professional