Communicating with Someone with DementiaCommunicating with Someone with Dementia
Memory loss and language difficulties are perhaps the most common problems associated with Dementia, so communicating with loved ones affected by the condition can become hugely problematic. Despite the fact these issues are going to dictate the way they express their feelings and join conversations, people with Dementia can still remain actively involved with daily discussions when the right support has been considered. Taking that extra bit of time and positioning your body in a certain way are just some of the simple methods you can use to help sustain social relationships for people with Dementia.
What is Dementia?
It’s common for memory loss to be experienced by just about anyone, but persistent symptoms could be a sign of Dementia. According to the NHS website, if you are over the age of 65, you should speak to your GP the very moment you have any concerns. Furthermore, Dementia can lead to problems with the way you speak, move and even behave, all of which are caused as a result of your brain declining in terms of functionality.
Simple Steps to Help Dementia Sufferers Communicate
So, how do we make sure our Dementia live-in home care is suitable when conversing with affected individuals? Well, here are some simple steps regularly taken to ensure Dementia sufferers can still enjoy the comfort that comes from communicating with loved ones.
Don’t ever speak elaborately, even if you are naturally quite articulate. Try to simplify sentences more and only use words where necessary. If you do formulate long strings of dialogue, it may be hard for them to keep on top of what you are saying without getting confused. When you are talking, keep the pace suitable and make sure to really pronounce each word clearly. There is also a very fine line between speaking in a manner suitable for someone with commutation problems and coming across patronising, so be sure to speak in a way that retains a certain level of respect.
Give them Time
Patience is key with a number of supportive strategies, and since Dementia sufferers have incurred brain deficiencies, they might not respond quite as quickly as they used to. Just remember that they obviously aren’t doing this on purpose and they will eventually come round to responding when they have mustered the strength to do so. Make sure to remain engaged with them even when they have reached an unresponsive state, as they may need visual clues that indicate they are still the person who is expected to deliver the next string of dialogue within a conversation.
Sometimes human contact may be beneficial for someone suffering with Dementia, so maybe think about holding their hand during the conversation. Showing that you care can make you both feel more connected, providing a more comfortable environment in which to communicate despite any issues that are likely to arise in the process. Not only can holding someone’s hands help, but the occasional pat on the back is another way in which to consistently display your love and affection to keep them at ease.
Maintain Eye Contact
A conversation requires attention by all people involved, but Dementia sufferers may forget about the most basic things they need to observe when talking. So, make sure you are always playing your part and keep regular eye contact in place, since they might not be able to do the same quite as easily. If their eyes do wonder, you should encourage them to look at you once again before continuing to talk. The simple act of looking at someone really can make a huge difference as it’s seen as a key component that could trigger their memory and help get them back on track.
Dementia Awareness Week
In order to raise more awareness, this entire week has been dedicated to Dementia. According to alzherimers.org.uk, nearly 1 million people are not receiving the support they need due to a lack of funding, which has been hugely intensified by the coronavirus pandemic. People are being encouraged to put on fund raising activities, whether that be virtual events or placing posters into local shops to promote the on-going fight to get better care for Dementia sufferers.
You can help spread the word during Dementia Action Week 2021 by downloading the materials order form here.
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