Did you know that just seven per cent of communication is the words we use?
The rest is body language and tone of voice.
Even if a person with dementia cannot follow what you’re saying, they can still pick up on these non-verbal cues – and that is why calm, conscious communication is so important when you are caring for or spending time with someone who has dementia.
Home Instead Senior Care Penrith helps families of loved ones with dementia to adjust the way they communicate.
Whilst this can take time, effective communication can help to alleviate the feelings of stress and frustration that a person with dementia experiences in these situations.
When caring for someone with dementia, being patient, calm and clear is important for two main reasons.
The first being that progressive memory loss impacts their ability to organise and express their thoughts and secondly recent memory loss causes the past to merge with the present, which creates confusion.
Home Instead Senior Care’s top 10 tips when caring for loved ones with dementia are:
• Never argue instead, agree
• Never reason instead, divert
• Never shame instead, distract
• Never lecture instead, reassure
• Never say remember instead, reminisce
• Never say I told you instead, repeat
• Never force instead, reinforce
• Never demand instead, ask
• Never condescend instead, encourage
• Never say you can’t instead, say what they can do
Irregular routines and inconsistent communication styles among family and carers can also create confusion, so aim for as much consistency as possible.
Remember that it’s much harder to maintain positive, calm communication if you aren’t taking care of yourself.
As a carer, friend or family member, your own self-care is important too.