10 Communication Strategies for Dementia Care

10 Communication Strategies for Dementia Care

Found in: Activities Dementia Articles

Communication is vital to our well-being. People living with dementia slowly lose their language skills and their ensuing quality of life.  Here are some tips to help communicating with people living with dementia.


dorothy 28th Jul 2016
hi everyone have just joined again I find Golden Carers a wonderful resource
looking forward to communicating with you all .
Talita 28th Jul 2016
Thank you Dorothy!
Donna 22nd Jul 2016
I have a very lovely man in our dementia care unit. He is very friendly most of the time and with prompting he will participate in some activities. The problem is he can speak English but is now only speaking Italian and I can understand him. I prompt him to speak English and I know he is trying but he just gets stuck. We have another person who speaks English and Italian but he can figure out what he's trying to communicate either. Apparently their are different dialects and they can be very difficult. How can I communicate or understand what he is trying to say. It's so fustrating for him. I try simple sentences or gestures but it only makes him more frustrated. I try to redirect but that frustrates him and I don't have it in my heart to just walk away so I continue to listen and he eventually gives up. I don't want him to just shut down and not talk because we can't understand him. Anyone have and suggestion other than me learning Italian, or hiring a translator?
Solange 22nd Jul 2016
Hi Donna, how lovely of you to consider learning Italian to speak with your client. This is what make our profession so special. Sadly, I don’t have any knowledge of courses in dialects, Italian or otherwise. Congratulations on your compassion. You are quite right, if nothing is done your client will stop speaking altogether, which would be a crying shame. Many facilities have translators but for especial or emergency occasion only. I would try instead try to find volunteers fluent in his dialect. You could try the Community Board of Churches and Supermarkets; place a request for volunteers in your client’s dialect. Best wishes.
Liz 14th Jun 2016
Great tips, thank you. I also find being up close and looking and speaking directly whilst looking the person in the eyes can also help. Really show you are concentrating on them and speaking solely to them.
Almira 14th Jun 2016
This is worth sharing to other RAOs ( Recreational Activities Officers). I will definitely share this in our up coming network meeting this month.
Talita 14th Jun 2016
Thank you Almira. I hope they find it helpful.
Daryl 14th Jun 2016
Thank you for the clear statement of these ideas which speak with empathy directly to me as carer.
They also give an enduring voice to my Loved One, in ways of which she will not always be capable.

Importantly, the tip "1. Realise Your Challenge" leads the list rather than appearing awkwardly later.
Talita 14th Jun 2016
Thank you for your feedback Daryl, this is much appreciated.