Most lists of Alzheimer's caregiver communications tips are tips from people living without dementia.
By Judy Berry
Alzheimer's Reading Room
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.
Communication Tips Directly from Individuals Living with Memory Loss
- Speak with a smile, so I know that you care
- If you are tense, remember I feel your tension too
- A smile takes away tension and helps put me at ease
- Use language I understand – keep it simple, no jargon or slang
- Slow down your speech
- Keep it short and to the point, one idea at a time
- Let me take the time to think through what you said to me
- Let me set the pace of the conversation
- Let me be the leader in the conversation – give me charge of the conversation
- Make sure you have my attention
- Pause once you say your thoughts
- Pause so I can say my thoughts
- Give me time to find the words and to say my thoughts
- Take turns during a conversation
- Let me finish what I am trying to say, it takes a little longer, sometimes it takes a lot longer
- Please repeat information if I ask
- Make sure I hear you, ask if I understand what you have said
- Tone of voice – adjust it up or down. Louder is NOT always better
- Face me when you talk, eye contact helps to get my complete attention
- Please, don’t interrupt me
- 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