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Effectively Communicate with a Person with Dementia

January 27, 2020

10 Tips for Communicating a Loved One Who Has Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Caucasian caregiver effectively communicating with elderly caucasian woman with dementia

Use the following tips to effectively communicate and ease tension with caregiving with a person who has Alzheimer’s or dementia.

  1. Always approach the person from the front, using their name and making eye contact.
  2. Speak clearly, slowly, and in simple terms. Avoid complex sentences.
  3. Use a warm, calm voice, avoid being condescending, or using baby talk.
  4. Avoid distractions and find a comfortable and quiet place where the person can focus on your conversation.
  5. As often as possible, give the person an option of 2 choices. Making decisions will give them a sense of control.
  6. Patiently give one instruction at a time, break up tasks into simple steps. Once a step is complete, move on to the next step.
  7. Use non-verbal cues when dementia has progressed. Use items or photos to ease the conversation.
  8. Do not argue and do your best to understand what they are trying to communicate.
  9. Be mindful that the person is still an adult and speak to them with respect and dignity.
  10. Never talk about the person in the presence of others as if they are not there.

For more articles on Memory Care and caring for those with dementia, visit here. Or visit the Alz.org.

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