How To Connect With Someone Who Has Dementia

March 21st, 2019

Communicating with someone you love who has dementia can sometimes be tricky. One day their symptoms may not be as intense, and the next they could have a difficult time remembering basic items.

As dementia progresses, talking with your loved one can become increasingly difficult. Here are three tips for connecting with your loved one during this phase of life.

Take Inventory Of Your Surroundings

Before you even start a conversation, make sure you’re in a good environment. Avoid loud areas and places with lots of distractions. Limit any background noise, such as a TV or music, as much as possible.

When it comes to talking with your loved one, position yourself so they can clearly see you. As dementia progresses, non-verbal communication becomes even more important, so being aware of your body language is crucial. In addition, touch can also be helpful. Putting your arm around your parent or holding their hand during a conversation, for example, can help keep them engaged.

Speak Clearly And Slowly

It takes those with dementia longer to process incoming information. Speak a little slower than you normally would and use simple words and short sentences. Avoid asking multiple questions or switching quickly between topics as this can become overwhelming.

One of the primary symptoms of dementia is forgetfulness. If your loved one is confused about what you’re saying, try to rephrase instead of just repeating yourself.

Note: Avoid talking at your loved one or talking about them as if they aren’t there. Respect and consideration go a long way in maintaining a positive relationship as dementia progresses.

SEE ALSO: Understanding Dementia Behaviors

Be Patient And Compassionate

The truth is that it can become more difficult to connect with your family member if they have dementia. They’re more easily confused and unable to hold high-level conversations.

Be patient with them. They may grow frustrated or upset if they’re struggling to understand. Be compassionate and remember that dementia is a disease – and while it can alter the way your loved one communicates and behaves, it doesn’t define the person they’ve always been.

Interested In More Resources?

Our team is here to help. If you’re looking for more tips on dementia care, supporting your loved one or more, call us at 1-855-40-STORY.

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