5 Communication Tips for Those With Dementia

It’s not an understatement to say that watching the progression of a condition like Alzheimer’s Disease through a loved one is difficult. But for many of us, the worst part is witnessing the unyielding reality near the end, when the person afflicted becomes a shadow of their former self. Yet, for our loved ones who live with dementia, connecting with them can still be achievable.

If you have a family member in an assisted living facility, you know that carrying on a conversation can be tricky. It’s not impossible so read on to discover 5 tips to communicate with someone who has moderate to severe dementia.

  1. It’s a hard fact that people with dementia will inevitably get worse over time, so it’s wise to recognize the reality of the situation, and that there will be good and bad days.
  2. When having conversations, try to avoid places where lots of distractions are likely. This way, your loved one will be able to focus their attention effectively.
  3. When referring to people, use names instead of pronouns like “he” and “she.” Also, a good habit is to use your name when greeting them. Say, “Hi, Grandma, it’s me, Nancy.”
  4. Non-verbal cues are a good habit to get into. Smiling and easy eye contact will help them to relax and be at ease. Plus, when dementia gets far enough along, non-verbal communication may be the only option.
  5. Try not to get frustrated. There will be some delusions and some misstatements, and it’s okay to let them pass instead of correcting them.