Top communication tools for seniors with dementia
Here are some things to remember not to say to someone with dementia, and what you can say instead.
speak clearly and slowly, using short sentences. make eye contact with the person when they’re talking or asking questions. give them time to respond, because they may feel pressured if you try to speed up their answers. encourage them to join in conversations with others, where possible.
6 nonverbal dementia communication techniques
Ways to communicate with a person with dementia Try to be at eye-level with them, rather than standing over them. Be as close to the person as is comfortable for you both, so that you can clearly hear each other, and make eye contact as you would with anyone. Communicate clearly and calmly.
What Are the Seven Stages of Dementia?
Listening to music, dancing, or contact with babies, children or animals provide positive feelings. People with dementia often have excellent memories of past events, and looking through old photos, memorabilia and books can help the person to recall earlier times.
Answer From Jonathan Graff-Radford, M.D. The term “sundowning” refers to a state of confusion occurring in the late afternoon and spanning into the night. Sundowning can cause a variety of behaviors, such as confusion, anxiety, aggression or ignoring directions.
Psychiatric evaluation: Your doctor will ask questions about your mood and sense of well-being to see if depression or another mental health condition might be causing symptoms of dementia. They’ll also probably ask about any behaviors that are causing concern: When do they happen, and how long do they last?
Does someone with dementia know they have it? Families often ask “are dementia patients aware of their condition?” In some cases, the short answer is no, they’re not aware they have dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Limit visual distractions and background noise, such as a TV or radio, that can make it difficult to hear, listen attentively or concentrate. Keep it simple. Use short sentences. As the disease progresses, ask questions that require a yes or no answer.
Examples of verbal communication are a conversation, a speech or presentation and having a phone call with someone. Verbal communication is the alternative to non-verbal communication whereby messages are conveyed silently, either written, in symbols or through body language.
Try these suggestions to engage clients with dementia in conversation:
A dementia patient may not speak at all, may have garbled speech, or may babble like an infant. At this stage of the disease, the brain is so badly damaged that the individual is seeking sensory stimulation, which may present in the form of oral stimulation.
A person with dementia feels confused more and more often. When they can’t make sense of the world or get something wrong, they may feel frustrated and angry with themselves. They may become angry or upset with other people very easily. They might not be able to say why.