Ten Tips for Communicating with a Person with Dementia

Caring for a loved one with dementia poses many challenges for families and caregivers. People with dementia from conditions such as Alzheimer’s and related diseases have a progressive brain disorder that makes it more and more difficult for them to remember things, think clearly, communicate with others, or take care of themselves. In addition, dementia can cause mood swings and even change a person’s personality and behavior.

We are not born knowing how to communicate with a person with dementia—but we can learn. you do not have to be specially trained to do this. Improving your communication skills will help make caregiving less stressful and will likely improve the quality of your relationship with your loved one. Good communication skills will also enhance your ability to handle the difficult behavior you may encounter as you care for a person with a dementing illness.

Below are Ten Tips for communicating with a Person with Dementia. This is important because they are a special set of people with special needs and require special attention.

  1. Set a positive mood for interaction. Your attitude and body language communicate your feelings and thoughts stronger than your words. Set a positive mood by speaking to your loved one in a pleasant and respectful manner. Use facial expressions, tone of voice and physical touch to help convey your message and show your feelings of affection. They suspect anything at this stage , hence you need to be reassuring every time with your body language and speech.
  2. Get the person’s attention. Limit distractions and noise—turn off the radio or TV, close the curtains or shut the door, or move to quieter surroundings. Before speaking, make sure you have her attention; address her by name, identify yourself by name and relation, and use nonverbal cues and touch to help keep her focused. If she is seated, get down to her level and maintain eye contact.
  3. State your message clearly. Use simple words and sentences. Speak slowly, distinctly and in a reassuring tone. Refrain from raising your voice higher or louder; instead, pitch your voice lower. If she doesn’t understand the first time, use the same wording to repeat your message or question. If she still doesn’t understand, wait a few minutes and rephrase the question. Use familiar names of places and familiar pronouns. Do not Shout.
  4. Ask simple, answerable questions. Ask one question at a time; those with yes or no answers work best. Refrain from asking open-ended questions or giving too many choices. For example, ask, “Would you like to wear your white shirt or your blue shirt?” Better still, show her the choices—visual prompts and cues also help clarify your question and can guide her response. This isn’t just for this case alone. generally, we tend to associate and remember what we can see more than when we have a mental picture.
  5. Listen with your ears, eyes and heart. Be patient in waiting for your loved one’s reply. If she is struggling for an answer, it’s okay to suggest words. Watch for nonverbal cues and body language, and respond appropriately. Always strive to listen for the meaning and feelings that underlie the words. Pay keen attention!!!
  6. Break down activities into a series of steps. This makes many tasks much more manageable. You can encourage your loved one to do what he can, gently remind him of steps he tends to forget, and assist with steps he’s no longer able to accomplish on his own. Using visual cues, such as showing him with your hand where to place the dinner plate, can be very helpful. Never rush them.
  7. When the going gets tough, distract and redirect. When your loved one becomes upset, try changing the subject or the environment. For example, ask him for help or suggest going for a walk. It is important to connect with the person on a feeling level, before you redirect. You might say, “I see you’re feeling sad—I’m sorry you’re upset. Let’s go get something to eat.”
  8. Respond with affection and reassurance. People with dementia often feel confused, anxious and unsure of themselves. Further, they often get reality confused and may recall things that never really occurred. Avoid trying to convince them they are wrong. Stay focused on the feelings they are demonstrating (which are real) and respond with verbal and physical expressions of comfort, support and reassurance. Sometimes holding hands, touching, hugging and praise will get the person to respond when all else fails.
  9. Remember the good old days. Remembering the past is often a soothing and affirming activity. Many people with dementia may not remember what happened 45 minutes ago, but they can clearly recall their lives 45 years earlier. Therefore, avoid asking questions that rely on short-term memory, such as asking the person what they had for lunch. Instead, try asking general questions about the person’s distant past—this information is more likely to be retained.
  10. Maintain your sense of humor. Use humor whenever possible, though not at the person’s expense. People with dementia tend to retain their social skills and are usually delighted to laugh along with you.

Do not condemn them or make them feel unwanted. Let them feel normal. Communication is key so seek to communicate well with them.

Join the newsletter

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

Toluse Francis

Toluse Francis believes a healthy lifestyle is paramount for everyone. He is a long -time volunteer with Solid Foundation Teens and Youth Ministry. He loves to care for people. Toluse Francis is a Health Coach and author He is interested in seeing people eat healthy and get productive. He believes a healthy lifestyle is paramount for everyone.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

nike-paobu.com - July 22, 2015

If some one desires expert view on the topic of running
a blog afterward i recommend him/her to pay a quick visit this webpage, Keep up the good

my web page – pirater un compte faceboo (nike-paobu.com)

a/c repair miami - July 23, 2015

I recently noticed your site. You’ve got a lots of information here that is why i like it!

Look into my web site a/c repair miami

Judy - July 25, 2015

You may never must worry about searching Google for tree service businesses ever again when you take effect with our
tree organization.

Also visit my weblog tree removal atlanta ga; Judy,

www.megatest.pl - July 27, 2015

I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also
with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or
did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like
this one today.

my weblog – http://www.megatest.pl

cooking fever hack - July 29, 2015

Greetings I am so thrilled I found your blog, I really found you by accident, while I was researching on Digg for something else, Regardless I am here now
and would just like to say many thanks for a remarkable post and a
all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design),
I don’t have time to go through it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS
feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb

Look into my blog – cooking fever hack

electricity cost - July 29, 2015

Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful
& it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

Vigrx Plus Before And After - July 29, 2015

Outstanding work on behalf of the owner of this website, outstanding post.

Here is my webpage – Vigrx Plus Before And After

opnjyolrkx - July 30, 2015

Ten Tips for Communicating with a Person with Dementia | Health Talk
opnjyolrkx http://www.g1p6t57t9j57hf8l1xc1kum002u4c8w8s.org/

Leave a Reply:

%d bloggers like this: