The Importance of Good Communication in Dementia Care

Carer supporting a lady with dementia

The Importance of Good Communication in Dementia Care

Is your loved one living with dementia?

 

This can be a difficult time, particularly when conversations start to become muddled. 

 

This week, we’re looking at the importance of good communication in dementia care:

Communication in dementia care: carer supporting person living with dementia

Communication in Dementia Care: Non-Verbal

Non-verbal communication covers a wide spectrum. It can be from how you position yourself, to how you move your hands.

 

Every movement is important when it comes to good communication in dementia care.

 

It’s important to remain at eye level with your loved one; crouch next to them or sit opposite them when you want to talk so that you remain at their level. This can help them to feel safe and respected.

 

Try to make eye contact as much as possible. When your loved one’s communication skills start to deteriorate, they may easily lose interest or forget they’re involved in a conversation. By maintaining eye contact, you can subtly let them know you’re still talking to them. It can also be helpful to reduce background noise to help prevent distractions. 

 

Gesticulation can be a useful tool when it comes to communication in dementia care, too. For example, you may find it useful to point to the front door when asking if they’d like to go for a walk.

Elderly couple holding hands

Communication in Dementia Care: Tone of Voice

Your loved one may need plenty of reassurance as their condition deteriorates. You can help manage this by using a calm tone of voice and smiling when you speak.

 

Use a gentle voice to explain what you mean, and try to simplify your words. For example, you could limit the choices when asking them a question so as not to confuse or overwhelm them.

 

If they get confused or forget something, you can help by remaining calm and offering prompts. It’s important to treat them with dignity and respect, so try to stay patient and change the subject if needs be.

 

You can gently touch their hand whilst you speak to let them know that they’re safe and that you love them. Speak slowly and clearly, without sounding patronising, to help ensure they understand what you mean. 

Communication in dementia care: Man looking at his calendar

Use Communication Tools, Such as Posters or Prompts

Cards with pictures can be a great way to show your loved one their routine for the day. You could ask them to help lay out the pictures in order as a fun and engaging activity, and then tick off each item as they go.

 

For example, you could print out a picture of breakfast, clothes and a toothbrush, to help them visualise their morning steps. 

 

You could also use posters to help your loved one remember important actions around the house. For example, you could have instructions in the kitchen for using the cooker safely, or a poster in the hallway to remind them to lock the door and turn out the lights before bed.

 

These act as a gentle reminder for your loved one, whilst helping them retain a sense of independence

Carer supporting a lady with dementia

If you’d like information about our care services, please contact a member of our team.

 

Alternatively, why not read our previous blog for low impact workout ideas for seniors?