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Caregiver Tips to Better Communicate with Those Suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia

It should be expected that those suffering with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may experience increasing problems with verbal communications. They can regularly experience problems finding the right words, remembering names, events and places. Those suffering from these conditions can easily become confused, frustrated and angry as they try to communicate with family and friends.


Your success in communicating with a loved one, with any form of memory loss comes down to your ability to be properly understood, be a good listener and to exhibit patient. Here are some proven communication tips that can help.

How can i help you dad?


Communication DO’S

  • Always call the person by their first name
  • Tell them your name and who you are
  • Smile and make eye contact
  • Be patient, respectful, and supportive
  • Always refer to family and friends by name
  • Avoid becoming frustrated
  • Make your statements short, simple and clear
  • Speak slowly and be sure to enunciate the important words
  • Asks as many “Yes” or “No” questions as possible
  • Keep you sense of humor, but don’t joke about their inability to communicate
  • Try to avoid the topics that will upset them
  • Think about how you can simply communicate important issues, or bad news
  • Be as repetitious as necessary
  • Maintain their attention
  • Remind them about their lives, friends, travels hobbies, and your last visit


Communication DON’TS

  • Never ask questions that will challenge their short term memory
  • Never say “Do you remember,” “Did you forget” or “What did you do”
  • Never ask long involved question
  • Never point out their memory difficulties
  • Never argue or speak baby talk
  • Never talk with others as if your loved one isn’t in the room
  • Never say thing like “As I just told you”
  • Never use slang, unfamiliar words or modern jargon
  • Never use sarcasm, avoid puns
  • Never demand a response
  • Never make vague or confusing statements
  • Never try to communicate in a busy of noise location

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