Dementia is not an easy thing to deal with. Many times diagnoses are unexpected and this can make it difficult for families to handle. When we take the time to adapt to our new situation, it can make life a lot more enjoyable and pleasant. Below are listed 10 steps you can take when communicating with someone who has dementia. Following these steps can make the lines of communication much more clear and understandable.
10 Communication Techniques For Dementia
- Create a positive environment for conversation. Set a positive mood by speaking to your loved one in a pleasant and respectful manner.
- Make sure the person is focused. Limit distractions and noise.
- State your message clearly. Use simple words and sentences. Speak slowly, distinctly, and in a reassuring tone.
- Ask simple, answerable questions. Ask one question at a time; those with yes or no answers work best.
- Listen with your ears, eyes, and heart. Be patient in waiting for your loved one’s reply.
- Break down activities into a series of steps. This makes many tasks much more manageable.
- When the going gets tough, distract and redirect. If your loved one becomes upset or agitated, try changing the subject or the environment.
- Respond with affection and reassurance. People with dementia often feel confused, anxious, and unsure of themselves. Avoid trying to convince them they are wrong.
- Remember the good old days. Avoid asking questions that rely on short-term memory, such as asking the person what they had for lunch. Instead, try asking general questions about the person’s distant past.
- Maintain your sense of humor. Use humor whenever possible, though not at the person’s expense.
Learning to communicate with someone who has dementia may take a significant amount of time and practice. Once you have mastered the basics, it can become a lot easier for you and the person you are caring for. Here at Orchard at Athens, we support our residents in as many ways as possible. We are always searching for new and best ways to communicate with each person. If you think this may be the right place for someone you are caring for, please contact us to learn more about about our community!