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Persons with dementia will gradually diminish ability to communicate. They may have more difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions and have more trouble understanding others. The person may not able to find the right words − particularly the names of objects, may substitute an incorrect word, or may not find any word at all.



Changes in communication

The person with dementia may experience changes in communication such as:



  • Difficulty finding the right words

  • Using familiar words repeatedly

  • Inventing new words to describe familiar objects

  • Easily lose their train of thought

  • Difficulty organizing words logically

  • Reverting to speaking in a native language

  • Using curse words

  • Speaking less often

  • More often relying on gestures instead of speaking


Tips for better communication


  • Identify yourself

  • Call the person by name

  • Use short, simple words and sentences

  • Speak slowly and clearly

  • Give one-step directions

  • Ask one question at a time

  • Patiently wait for a response

  • Repeat information or questions

  • Turn questions into answers

  • Avoid confusing expressions

  • Avoid vague statements

  • Emphasize keywords

  • Turn negatives into positives

  • Give visual cues

  • Avoid quizzing

  • Give simple explanations

  • Write things down

  • Treat the person with dignity and respect

  • Be aware of your tone of voice

  • Pay special attention to your body language




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