Explain the importance of effective communication to an individual with dementia.
One reason that effective communication is very important for the individual with dementia is because of their diminished abilities to express pain, suffering, fear, illnesses, etc.
By using the most efficient methods of communication you can best support your person. Insuring that he or she receives the best medical care, that he or she is safe and well cared for, and that not only his or her needs are met but that also their desires, wishes and wants are fulfilled.
Make sure that you have the person's attention. Eye contact is important. It's a good idea to get down to their level if they are sitting. Use touch to help draw and keep the person's attention, as well as to communicate feelings of affection. Be calm and gentle
Where possible approach the person from the front
Try to avoid talking to people with dementia when there is competing noise e.g.. from the TV Keep your sentences short and simple. Make one point at a time. Try to keep with familiar ideas rather than complex new concepts. Allow time for the person to process the statements, and give them time to respond. Use people's names rather than pronouns (i.e. he or she)
Frame questions very simply asking only one thing at a time. Try to avoid questions which require complicated answers. It is best to ask questions which can be answered with one or two words. If it is necessary to repeat a question, try to do so without changing the words you used the first time. Acknowledge if the person is having difficulty trying to communicate Check that hearing or eyesight is not impaired. Glasses or a hearing aid may help the person communicate better. Remember that people retain their feelings and emotions even if they cannot understand what is being said. Maintain the person's dignity and self esteem at all times.
Effective communication can bring about a sense of wellbeing, a sense of hope and it can build...
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