Communicating effectively with someone living with Dementia is so important and your method of communication may need to adapt and change as the Dementia develops and progresses, or may well depend on the type of Dementia.
Dementia can influence a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others and those living with Dementia often find it difficult to process information, and may find it increasingly difficult to speak, read and write over time.
Those living with Dementia may also have difficulties with social skills, as the Dementia progresses, and this will see a further decline in that person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.
Some tips for effective communication that we encourage are:
Try agreeing rather than arguing
Try repeating rather than saying “I told you so”
Try diverting rather than reasoning
Try looking at what they can do rather than saying “You can’t”
Try distracting rather than ridiculing & shaming
Try asking rather than demanding
Try reassuring rather than lecturing
Try encouraging rather than belittling
Try reminiscing rather than saying “remember”
Try reinforcement rather than forcing
Some practical tips that you may also want to consider are:
- Cut out background noise & distractions
- Get their attention before beginning to talk; so that they are aware you are talking to them
- Never speak to them from behind
- Talk one-to-one
- Keep sentences short and simple
- Be patient