Always have a positive attitude

The person with dementia may have an increased sensitivity to other people’s emotions and feelings, and tends to mirror this. When others are tense and uptight, they feel the same way.

Get the person’s attention first

Before speaking, make sure you have eye contact (if they are seated, get down to their level), address them by name, and use nonverbal cues to help keep them focused. Limit outside noise and distraction.

Speak slowly and use simple words

Articulate well and use short sentences. If necessary, repeat your message or question, but always be patient in waiting for their reply (they may feel pressured if you try to speed up their answer). Always try to listen for the meaning and feelings that underlie their words.

Be respectful of their feelings

Do not talk down to them or speak to them as if they were a child. Never ridicule what they say. Instead, acknowledge their answer (even if it seems out of context) and show them you are paying attention.

Use body language and physical contact

Communication isn’t just talking. Body language, physical contact, and tone of voice become very significant when a person has difficulty understanding words. A hug, a touch of hands, and a friendly tone of voice will likely help to reassure them .

When all else fails, SMILE

Instead of getting frustrated when the person with dementia does something that seems perfectly normal to them, and foolish to you, just smile. A smile will take the edge off any situation.

GOOD COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Help make caregiving less stressful

Improve our relationship with our loved ones, and

Enhance our ability to handle their challenging behaviour.

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