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Tips to Remember when Talking to Those with Dementia

20220511-161350June-ESLOP-Blog

Communication can be challenging when talking to a loved one with dementia. How you communicate with your loved one is very important, the goal being to confuse them as little as possible. Here are a few things to keep in mind when talking to your loved one with dementia.

Phrases to avoid

Many phrases are used frequently in our day-to-day conversations that we may not think are harmful but can be challenging for those with dementia. For example, the phrase "Do you remember…" can lead to embarrassment. Your senior doesn't want to tell you they have forgotten a memory, especially a meaningful one. Asking a senior with dementia if they remember something will bring more sadness to their insecurity about having dementia. Instead, use the phrase "I remember when" to avoid putting pressure on your senior by not asking them a question directly about memory.

Another phrase to avoid, "As I already said…" When talking to someone with dementia, you will often repeat yourself, but you don't want your senior to feel embarrassed, and you don't want them to know you have repeated yourself already. Other phrases like "I already told you" only reminds your senior of their struggle. Instead of saying those phrases, kindly repeat yourself.

Be direct

You don't want to be too vague, so it is important to be specific with your words. For example, avoid using general pronouns like he, she, or they or vague terms such as that and those. Instead, be specific and say, "Jack bought a car," and "the spoon is under the napkin on the counter." Dementia makes it difficult for seniors to follow conversations like they once did, so it is key to use short sentences, speak clearly, and give them your full attention.

Don't offer too much help

Seniors want to feel independent. We understand that you want to help your loved one as much as possible. Find that even balance of helping your senior and knowing when it's too much help. We don't want our seniors to feel like they are no longer competent.

At The Legacy: Memory Support, our care for seniors with dementia is unmatched. Schedule a tour to learn more about all the different memory care activities we provide for our amazing residents.

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Friday, 07 October 2022
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