Tips for Communicating

Tips for Successful Communication with Someone who has Dementia

Sometimes communicating with someone who has Dementia can be frustrating for you as well as for the person with whom you are talking. Try some of these simple tips below. Avoid arguing, it will only upset the person. Speak slowly and with respect and kindness. Remember, people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia can still pick up on your body language and how you are approaching them. Above all, be patient and understanding.

Tips for Communicating with Someone with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

  • Be calm and supportive.
  • Address a person by his/her name.
  • Use short concrete, literal sentences.
  • Only give 1 step or instruction at a time.
  • Always use a positive calm voice.
  • Offer 1 or 2 choices, more than that may overwhelm a person.
  • Validate feelings with empathy.
  • Allow the person to say “no,” then try again later.
  • Approach from the front so the person can clearly see you coming, you may frighten or startle them coming to their side.
  • If you are stressed or negative, take a break or ask for help. A positive attitude will yield a positive response.
  • Be patient, flexible and understanding.