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How to Support People Living with Dementia

Dementia is the term used to describe symptoms of a large group of illnesses that cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. It is a broad term that describes a loss of memory, intellect, social skills and usual emotional reactions. For a long time, the person may look healthy, but on the inside, their brain is not working properly.

You can help to support people affected by dementia in a variety of ways. Below are a number of tips for communicating

  • Remain calm and talk in a gentle, matter of fact way
  • Keep sentences short and simple
  • Always allow plenty of time for what you have said to be understood
  • Give the person time to speak or respond. Try not to finish their sentences or make them feel embarrassed if they lose the thread of what they are saying
  • It can be helpful to use orienting names whenever you can, such as “Your son Jack”
  • Try to avoid competing noises such as TV or radio
  • Don’t argue. It will only make the situation worse
  • Don’t tell them what they can’t do. Instead suggest what the person can do
  • Don’t ask a lot of direct questions that rely on a good memory

We have created a playlist of videos to help you understand more about communicating with people living with dementia.

For more information visit Dementia Australia or download our fact sheet.

Find out more about permanent or respite care including dementia care at any Moran Aged Care Home click here for information or contact us.

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