Tips for Communicating with Someone with Dementia
- Take a moment to think about what you're going to say and calm yourself.
- Wait until a quiet time when there are no distractions.
- Have the person's full attention with good eye contact.
- Try to speak clearly, calmly, and a bit slower than usual.
- Short, basic phrases and sentences are best.
- Keep the conversation light-hearted.
- Including the person in conversations with others helps minimize any possible feelings of isolation.
- Think of a positive way to say what you need to say.
- Lots of pointed questions can cause frustration.
- Offering two choices is better than offering too many options.
- Be sensitive to the person's feelings that may be behind what they are saying.
- Listen and encourage.
- Tune into the person's body language and facial expressions so you can determine how they are really feeling.
- Pay attention to your body language. Try to project calmness and patience.
- If you are slightly below their eye level the person may feel more in control.
- Use physical contact such as holding or patting the person's hand or putting your arm around them.
This information should not be taken as medical advice. Always check with a doctor if you have questions about dementia or memory loss.
For more information, please refer to the full article on the Alzheimer's website.