Helping primary care to support people with dementia

Ten tips for communicating with a person with dementia

September 8 2012

As the disease progresses it can be more difficult for the person with dementia to remember things, think clearly or communicate with others. In addition, dementia can cause mood swings and even change a person’s personality and behavior.

This factsheet produced by the Family Caregiver Alliance provides some practical tips for dealing with the troubling behavior problems and communication difficulties often encountered when caring for a person with dementia.

Ten tips for communicating with a person with dementia

  1. Set a positive mood for interaction
  2. Get the person’s attention
  3. State your message clearly
  4. Ask simple, answerable questions
  5. Listen with your ears, eyes and heart
  6. Break down activities into a series of steps
  7. When the going gets tough, distract and redirect
  8. Respond with affection and reassurance
  9. Remember the good old days
  10. Maintain your sense of humour

Access the factsheet at

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