How to communicate effectively with a person with dementia

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be very challenging as their past ability to communicate and understand can be affected. A previous article we’ve compiled gives you an insider’s perspective of the experience of dementia.

The inability to understand or be understood is extremely frustrating, leaving the person feeling angry, inadequate and isolated. Communication breakdown is a major influence on behaviours.

Communication is not so much about what you say, but how you say it. When caring for a person who has dementia and who is having difficulty communicating this is especially true.

Body language makes up 55 per cent of our communication, while our pitch and tone of voice make up 38 per cent – leaving the actual words at only seven per cent. People with dementia usually experience deterioration in their ability to communicate verbally.

They rely on non-verbal communication to help interpret what is being said. Use body language to generate warmth and respect, and convey your message in an impactful way.

Focus

Reduce distractions and noise and close the door. Allow the person to focus and if required tell them your name and relationship. Make eye contact and wherever possible meet them at eye level.

Speak clearly

Speak slowly and clearly in a calm and friendly manner. Relay one piece of information at a time – break it down.

Use “I” statements

Frame everything in an “I” statement rather than a “you” statement and choose a blameless approach to problem solving.

Old times

Reminiscing about old times uses past events to distract and calm a person living with dementia and promotes wellbeing. A person with dementia typically loses their short term memory, but retains their long term memory, so reminiscing is a great technique to tap into an ability the person has.

“Yes” or “no”

Questions directed at yes or no answers or with limited choices work best.

Fun

Being playful and keeping a good sense of humor is good for everyone.

Distraction

By changing the environment or the subject you can move a person living with dementia through upset or agitation. It is important to acknowledge their feelings before distracting them.

Reassurance

Sometimes people living with dementia become disorientated and unsure of themselves and recall things that didn’t happen. Keep your focus on their feelings and comfort them.

Managing repetitive speech

Repeating a statement or question over and over sometimes happens with people living with dementia. Carers should respond with encouraging words. Signage pointing to the bathroom, whiteboards or digital clocks with day and time can help with people who are confused about their routine.

About Oxley Home Care

Oxley Home Care, established in 2006, is a family owned Sydney company and an approved government provider for aged care services who specialises in dementia care.

For the last decade, Oxley Home Care’s staff have been providing Dementia Care, Private Care, Home Care, Nursing and Allied Health which enables people – regardless of their age – to live in their own home throughout the Sydney Metropolitan area.

Oxley Home Care is an Approved Provider of Home Care Packages funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

Our mission is to empower people; regardless if they are frail or aged, by providing quality services specifically tailored to meet their individual needs.

For further information, please call Oxley Home Care on 1300 993 591.

Related News

How to leave a Google Review.

Have you heard about Google Reviews? They are a great way of sharing your experience so other people find it easier to navigate different businesses and work out if they will be the right fit for them.Wondering how to leave a  Google Review? However it can be a bit confusing to leave a Google Review

Read More »
Home Care Package supplements

What are Home Care Package supplements?

Have you heard about Home Care Package supplements? Supplements offer Home Care Package recipients more funding or support on top of their package allocation. There are a range of supplements a Home Care Package recipient could be eligible for dependent on their unique care needs. The Australian government pays supplements in order to cover the

Read More »
Managing diabetes as you age.

Managing your Diabetes as you Age.

Did you know that diabetes is the fastest-growing chronic condition in Australia? Over the past year, over 120,000 Australians have developed the illness bringing its current total of people impacted to around 1.8 million. Throughout this blog, you will find helpful tips to help you or someone you love to manage the illness as they

Read More »

Our Guarantee

Not satisfied? Get a refund and $250 back!

At Oxley Home Care, we are confident that our team will be the right fit for you. With over 20 years of experience, we have a proven track record of delivering premium, quality care at an affordable price across Sydney. If you aren’t happy with the quality of service you receive after joining us as a new client or switching from another provider, we will refund the cost of the service provided and give you $250.

That’s how confident we are of being your best partner in care.

From our happy Sydney clients

Hear what our happy clients have to say about Oxley Home Care

    We are part of the myHomecare Group

    A group that includes other trusted, quality brands. Together we help older Australians live happily and safely, providing them with local and tailored support across the country.

    Want to learn more?

    Just give us a call on 1300 992 639 and one of our friendly Care Specialists will help you learn the ropes and get the most out of your Home Care Package.

    1300 993 591