Communicating with Dementia

Being able to effectively communicate with loved ones suffering from dementia can be challenging. Early stages of dementia communication are for the most part likely not dissimilar to communicating with someone not suffering from the illness. As the illness progresses, you will likely need to change not only how you speak but the methods of communication themselves.

The book Mind your Brain, The Essential Australian Guide to Dementia by Kailas Roberts details various strategies that can assist those wanting to better communicate with dementia sufferers.

Some Helpful communications strategies:

  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • Make sure the environment is suitable e.g. minimize noise and other potential distractions
  • Repeat if necessary
  • Increase volume if necessary
  • Use a consistent voice
  • Touch and other exaggerate expressions
  • Use other methods of communications such as images or items
  • Be patient with and understanding

You may need to try different approaches and change as the illness progresses.


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