Aiding Communication with Dementia

One of the hardest things about adapting to speaking to your elderly loved one suffering from dementia, is that they begin to lose vocabulary. But, we know now that words only count for a tiny fraction of communication. We convey so much in our body language, facial expressions, and tones, and touch.

Body Language. How you stand and approach someone says so much to them about your relationship. When it comes to someone with dementia, you can let them know that you are a friend by ensuring that your body language is warm, and equal to theirs. For example, sitting at eye level, instead of towering over, works wonders to let someone feel more at ease.

Facial Expressions. Even when we don’t have the words, we know what emotions we see in someone’s face. Although you might feel frustrated or sad, try to show facial expressions that convey warmth and love to help the individual you care for know that you care for them.

Tones. Similar to facial expressions, the tone of your voice conveys so much more emotion than the actual words that you say.

Touch. Touch is a powerful connector. When there are no words or talking is not going well, simply sitting with your loved one and holding hands can make them feel more comfortable and happy than you can even imagine. A warm hand on the shoulder lets someone know that you are caring for them.