Communicating with a dementia sufferer

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Dementia is a degenerative disease, meaning over time it worsens and impacts a person’s ability to recall information and understand things like names and places.

Dementia slowly impacts a person’s communication too, as well as their ability to form rational ideas.

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If you are looking after a person with dementia, you may find that as the disease progresses you will need to prompt a discussion to get them to talk. This is common. Their ability to process information and to respond could be delayed. If you need help from Live in Care Cornwall, visit a site like https://www.liveincare.com/live-in-care-near-me/live-in-care-cornwall/

Encourage people with dementia to communicate

Try to start a conversation with the person you are looking after, especially if you see that they are starting conversations much less. It can help to:

Talk at a slow pace and use concise, short sentences

Keep up eye contact with people when they speak or ask questions

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Provide plenty of time for them to respond, as they may feel stressed if you try to speed up their response

encourage them to join in a conversation with others

let them speak for themselves during discussions about welfare or health

try not to talk down to them or ridicule what they say

Show that you’ve heard what they said even if they do not directly answer your question, or what they say doesn’t match what you’ve asked – showing that you acknowledge them and encouraging them to say more is important

Offer simple choices to avoid complicated options that require too much consideration

Try alternative means of communication – such as repeating questions because they could not answer in the way they used to.

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