Tips for Communicating with People with Dementia ~

Good communications tips for any situation
• Always approach from the front so you do not startle the person
• Determine how close the person wants you to be
• Communicate in a calm place with little noise or distraction
• Always identify yourself and use the person’s name
• Speak slowly– using a lower voice is calming and easier to understand
• Be aware and adjust your approach if the person has a hearing impairment
•Move and speak slowly
•Try to see and hear yourself as they might– always describe what you are going to do
•Use simple language and short sentences. If performing a procedure or assisting with self-care, simplify and list steps one at a time.
•Check your non-verbal language.
•Use the same words if you need to, repeat an instruction or question. However, you may be using a word the person doesn’t understand, such as “tired.” Try other words like “nap,” “lie down,” or “rest.”
•Suggest what you think the word is. If this upsets the person, learn from it and try not to correct it. As communicating with words (written and spoken) becomes more difficult, smiling, touching, and hugging can help communicate love and concern– remember some people find touch frightening or unwelcome.
•Ask the person to repeat your statements. Use short words and sentences, allowing time to answer
•Pay attention to the communication methods that are effective and use them
•Watch for non-verbal communication as the ability to talk diminishes. Observe body language: eyes, hands, facial expressions
•Use signs, labels, or written messages
•Encourage people to point, gesture, or mime. If they are upset, but cannot explain why, just offer comfort with a hug, a smile, or distraction techniques. Attempting to verbalize may be more frustrating.
• Post reminders, such as calendars, activity boards, pictures, and signs on doors. Before the final stage of dementia, signs and labels can sometimes help with orientation. However, reality orientation does not help in the later stages of
• Encourage reminiscing if it seems to give pleasure. It is an opportunity to learn more about the person.
• Try to limit the times you say “don’t.” Instead, redirect activities toward something constructive
• Do not take it personally. Try to redirect behaviour or ignore it.

• Remember it is the dementia speaking and not the person.
• As speaking abilities decline, use non-verbal communication. People with AD will understand touch, smiles, laughter, much longer than they will understand the spoken or written word.
• However, remember that some people do not like to be touched. Approach touching slowly. Be gentle, softly touching the hand or placing your arm around the person. A hug or a kiss can express affection and care. A smile can say you want to help.
• Even after verbal abilities are lost, signs, labels, and gestures can reach people with dementia. Assume people with AD can understand more than they can express. Never talk about them as though they were not there


Life is like a bunch of roses. Some sparkle like raindrops. Some fade when there's no sun. Some just fade away in time. Some dance in many colors. Some drop with hanging wings. Some make you fall in love. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Life you can be sure of, you will not get out ALIVE.(sorry about that)

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