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How Should You Communicate with Dementia Patients?

Oct 19, 2022

Dementia Patients

communicate-dementia-patients

Dementia is a chronic illness that progressively impairs a person's memory and comprehension of commonplace information like names, dates, and locations. Around 55 million people have dementia worldwide, with almost 10 million new cases diagnosed yearly.

One of the most challenging issues for people who have dementia is losing the ability to communicate. Dementia patients gradually lose their communication ability as the disease progresses. It becomes more challenging for them to understand what others are saying and to articulate themselves clearly. 

Read this blog to learn how you can help family members and loved ones with dementia communicate and care for dementia patients.

Why is Communication Important in Dementia Care?

Each dementia patient is unique, and how they communicate thoughts and feelings is diverse. Dementia patients may have trouble communicating correctly or recalling words. 

However, impactful dementia care can facilitate better communication and improve the quality of life for your loved one. Below are a few key factors on how you can help improve the communication ability according to the patient’s requirements.  

  • Encourage involvement in meaningful dialogue.
  • Use social engagement to improve the quality of treatment for dementia patients and to lessen the chance of miscommunication between caregivers and dementia patients.
  • Raise the level of patient participation in decision-making.
  • Better communication in elderly care services would improve patients' compliance with prescribed medications and treatment programs.

How to Help Someone with Dementia to Communicate

Dementia care involves sticking to daily therapy schedules, medications, and prescriptions. Care for dementia must be provided to help your loved ones keep as much of their original identity as possible with the help of in-home elderly care services and organized communication. 

You can accomplish this by:

  • Talking gradually and clearly while utilizing succinct sentences
  • Keeping visual contact with your loved ones while they are speaking, answering questions, or engaging in other conversation
  • Allowing them the opportunity to respond. If you attempt to rush their answers, they could feel pressured and uncomfortable
  • Encouraging them to participate in group dialogues whenever possible
  • Not being condescending or mocking what they say
  • Ensuring that the given in-home care services and caregivers actively communicate with your loved one.

Body Language and Physical Contact Communication in Dementia Care

Body language uses physical behavior, gestures, and patterns to express thoughts and emotions. When speaking becomes challenging for a person with dementia, body language and other nonverbal communication clues become important. 

Important strategies to enable interaction with dementia patients having troubled communication or understanding include:

  • A cheerful and approachable tone of speech.
  • Create a friendly environment, make them feel comfortable while opening a line of conversation, and speak to them at a proper distance.
  • While conversing with someone, pay closer attention to nonverbal cues like facial gestures and body movements. Additional body contact, such as comforting arm pats, could be necessary to alleviate the symptoms.

Listen and Understand Someone with Dementia

There is a two-way flow in communication, so you'll certainly need to develop better listening skills while you care for dementia patients. Use the tips below to improve your listening skills:

  • Practice eye contact while talking and ask the other person to do the same.
  • If you understand what they are saying, avoid interrupting them.
  • Put down what you're doing and listen intently to what they have to say.
  • Keep noise and interruptions from gadgets like cell phones, televisions, etc., to a minimum.
  • Requesting the person to repeat to minimize the information gaps.

Need Help Caring for Your Loved One? Contact Newport Home Care

Great dementia care requires understanding, tolerance, communication, and assistance from reliable professionals! Contact us at Newport Home Care for dedicated in-home care services for dementia patients. 

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