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Here’s Your Eight-Point Guide in Communicating with Patients who have Dementia

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Here’s Your Eight-Point Guide in Communicating with Patients who have Dementia

The struggle is real. If you’re caring for a loved one diagnosed with dementia, communication could be a real struggle for you to some extent. Our expert staff at More to Life Adult Day Health Center can be of assistance when you find the communication challenge daunting. As a medical condition, dementia is progressive in nature. The patient will eventually lose the ability to reason and converse logically. But you still have to know their needs and feelings in order to care for them efficiently. For a helpful guide in communicating to people with dementia, remember the acronym D.E.M.E.N.T.I.A. It stands for the eight key points you should keep in mind when you want to communicate with each other.

  • D – Distance
    Maintain a safe and respectful distance when talking with them. It would be helpful if you are seated lower (eye-level) for more effective communication.
  • E – Emphasize
    When you speak, speak slowly and clearly. Give simple choices. This will emphasize your message and give them time to process what you have said and respond.
  • M – Make time for a response
    Wait for them to respond to what you have said. Let them speak at their own pace. Let them share about their needs, well-being and feelings.
  • E – Eye contact
    Look at them in the eye as you speak. This assures them that you’re genuinely interested and that they have your full attention.
  • N – No distractions
    Remove or turn off anything that could disrupt attention. It could be your phone, electronics, television, or radio. This gives them enough time to formulate their thoughts without any unnecessary background noises.
  • T – Touch
    Hold their hand, if possible, and only if they’re comfortable. This assures them that you’re sincere enough to listen to them. Hand pats are also communication gestures of love and presence.
  • I – Interest
    Help them in communicating with others. At our Adult Day Care Health Center in Sparks, Nevada, we can provide them with a caring environment surrounded by friends and peers for a safe and respectful place to communicate.
  • A – Acknowledgement
    Let them know you hear and understand what they are saying. You can acknowledge their message through nods, a smile, head shakes, or pats on the hand or the back.

Remember that we’re here to assist you! Our programs for Assisted Living in Reno, Nevada can be arranged to fit your loved one’s specific needs.

The best way to communicate your love for them is to entrust them to skillful and professional caregivers who will tend to them with as much compassion as you. That’s why you’ve got our team at More to Life Adult Day Health Center.

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