Apr 3, 2016

21 Communication Tips from Persons Living with Alzheimer's and dementia

Most lists of Alzheimer's caregiver communications tips are tips from people living without dementia.

21 useful Alzheimer's care and dementia care tips.

By Judy Berry

This was the first time I had seen a list of communication tips from the perspective of the person living with dementia.

These communication tips reverse the paradigm. These tips are from persons living with Alzheimer's, dementia, or memory loss.

How to help a dementia patient

Communication Tips Directly from Individuals Living with Memory Loss

  1. Speak with a smile, so I know that you care
  2. If you are tense, remember I feel your tension too
  3. A smile takes away tension and helps put me at ease
  4. Use language I understand – keep it simple, no jargon or slang
  5. Slow down your speech
  6. Keep it short and to the point, one idea at a time
  7. Let me take the time to think through what you said to me
  8. Let me set the pace of the conversation
  9. Let me be the leader in the conversation – give me charge of the conversation
  10. Make sure you have my attention
  11. Pause once you say your thoughts
  12. Pause so I can say my thoughts
  13. Give me time to find the words and to say my thoughts
  14. Take turns during a conversation
  15. Let me finish what I am trying to say, it takes a little longer, sometimes it takes a lot longer
  16. Please repeat information if I ask
  17. Make sure I hear you, ask if I understand what you have said
  18. Tone of voice – adjust it up or down. Louder is NOT always better
  19. Face me when you talk, eye contact helps to get my complete attention
  20. Please, don’t interrupt me
  21. Please be patient! Don't give up on me! I really DO want to be a part of the conversation

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Original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room