Friday 26 September 2014

Tips for Communicating with Someone who has Dementia.

If a close person to you is suffering with dementia, it can be really tough to maintain the relationship you once had with them, and at times even the simplest of communication with them can feel like a really difficult battle. 

There are some tips listed below to hopefully help make things that little bit easier so you can be there for them as much as possible, and so that you will both be happier, too.

Don’t be afraid to let some things go
Of course, the person who has dementia will get things slightly muddled or even may get things completely wrong at times. You may feel yourself going to automatically correct and argue with them, but it’s often best to let some things go and just move on with the conversation to avoid frustration and tension.

Be as calming and positive as possible
Remaining calm and upbeat as much as you can will be really important for them, especially as their condition develops and they may feel scared in front of people who they no longer recognise. You will of course feel sadness and even anger towards the situation, but hiding this from them will be really important for keeping them happy and comfortable.

Understand the illness as much as you can
Understanding dementia will be really useful for knowing exactly what you’re up against at different stages, and so will help you adapt accordingly. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the patient’s nurses and doctors, and do some research online about dementia. It’s also a good idea to talk to all members of your family and have everyone understand the illness as much as possible so you all have a good idea about what to expect and how to communicate.

Take your environment into consideration
Aim to rid your surroundings of any distractions so that your loved one doesn’t have to concentrate on too much at once, and can therefore concentrate on you a little better as a result. Avoid things like noisy televisions or busy areas when chatting with them so you can communicate as best as possible and so they also feel at ease, too.

Keep conversations simple and easy to follow
Keeping the conversations simple doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding talking about certain topics; it’s more about thinking more carefully about how you word certain things. For example, when talking about people, use names instead of pronouns (he, she, they etc) so that they gain a better understanding about who you’re talking about. Avoid switching from topic to topic also so that they don’t get overly confused, too.

Remember that it won’t always be easy
You won’t be alone in finding it difficult and that is a fact. If you need someone to talk or a little extra help, don’t be afraid to ask especially if you are one of the main caregivers of the person. Looking for some extra elderly care at home help can be a lifesaver and is available from companies such as and is definitely worth looking into if you are struggling. 

No comments:

Post a Comment