Friday, August 23, 2013

Communicating to Older People with Dementia

Ensuring a good communication leads to achieving a healthy lifestyle of an older person with dementia.

When people have dementia, they become less able to talk clearly. For others to understand them, they behave differently to pin point their needs. In this case it is the carer’s duty to discover what such behavior means. Just for example, a woman in a nursing home who suddenly become upset and begins to shout without any obvious reason. This happened not just once so she was carefully observed.

It was discovered that she was often incontinent shortly after shouting. This gave the conclusion that such behavior was her way of telling that her bladder is full. Regular schedule in using bathroom was then applied which greatly reduced the shouting incidents. The older person with dementia is also sometimes verbally abusive to others. This is especially important if it seems out of character for the person. It is important not to try to argue, because this often makes it worse. Ensuring a good communication leads to achieving a healthy lifestyle of an older person with dementia.

They often feel agitated when they seem to tell something but cannot find words to utter. Sometimes this are just simple things like they want to go somewhere else around the house or they cannot find what they are looking for. Improving ways of communicating with them in terms of labels and pictures to identify things and places is a lot beneficial. If cues are helping them to identify things and rooms, sometimes they also lead to unsafe behaviors. So watch out.  For example, if the older person sees his or her coat hanging on a hook in the hallway, it may give him or her idea to put them on and go outside. This directs the care assistant to another activity of living which is maintaining a safe environment for older people.


  1. I have a friend whose Mom has dementia and she said it's tough sometimes.

  2. a lot of patience and understanding is needed for this case.


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