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How to Communicate with Loved Ones with Dementia

Seniors with dementia often have trouble communicating with loved ones as the disease progresses. Daughters and sons often have a hard time trying to communicate with their parents with dementia. It's not always easy from both perspectives. Sometimes dementia patients lose the ability to communicate verbally, so we must rely on other ways, such as facial expressions, gestures and body language.

Here are some tips on controlling your attitude and body language to communicate your feelings:

  • Make sure you have the senior's attention before speaking.

  • Minimize any distractions

  • Address the person by their name

  • Use nonverbal cues and touch

  • Lower yourself to the person's eye level & maintain eye contact

  • Validate the person's feelings.

  • Smile and use touch to show them you understand

  • Do not show that you are upset, it may upset them

  • Clearly state your message.

  • Use simple words & short sentences

  • Speak slowly

  • Be precise & to the point

  • Engage in the person's favorite activities with them.

  • Show them that you care

  • Even if it is something you don't enjoy, smile and enjoy the moment

  • Anticipate and meet the person's needs.

  • Pay attention to their frequent requests

  • Examine their facial expressions

  • Try to tap into the person's long-term memory.

  • Long-term memory is the strongest type for a person with dementia

  • Focus on happy experiences

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