Communicating with loved ones

We often communicate with tone of voice, body language and facial expressions. It’s important to remain positive, cheerful and confident to offer a sense of reassurance to someone who is likely to be confused and frightened. If you get annoyed or resentful this can have a devastating effect on the person with dementia as they will feel like a burden. Here are some things to try:
• Focus on the person when you talk to them and avoid any other distractions
• Try to be patient and let them find the right words in their own time
• Speak slowly and in short sentences
• Say their name often when talking to them
• Listen with empathy and understanding
• Use pictures to give a visual guide to what you are saying or a third person you are talking about
• Use gestures to demonstrate actions
• Use simple language
• Avoid offering too many choices and make suggestions
• Smile and offer reassurance
• Reminisce on old times that evoke happy memories