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Dementia Do’s and Don’ts: Helpful Tips for Communicating with Your Loved One

Dementia Do's

How DO I communicate with and help someone who has or may show signs of dementia?

  • Use short, simple words and sentences
  • Talk slowly and clearly
  • Call the person by name
  • Allow the person time to process what you are saying
  • Ask one question at a time
  • Give one questions at a time
  • Give one-step directions
  • Speak only when you are visible to the person; maintain eye contact
  • Identify yourself, and let the person know you are here to help
  • Limit distractions (e.g. noise)
  • Be aware of your tone of voice and body language
  • Give visual cues
  • Be patient, flexible, and understanding

Dementia DON'Ts

What should I NOT DO when communicating with someone who has or may show signs of Dementia?

  • Correct or criticize
  • Argue
  • Talk loudly if they do not understand
  • Talk as if the person is not there
  • Look frustrated or mad
  • Rush the person
  • Use sarcasm or humor
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