Dementia signs and symptoms are not always noticeable in the early stages, but once a person is diagnosed it is important to know the best way to support them.
When the dementia progresses rapidly, the person tends to forget things more regular as well as seeming uninterested and unable to participate in a flowing conversation.
It can always seem daunting when it comes to trying to communicate with a loved one who is suffering from the disease.
But Chris Salter, group support manager at Forest Healthcare, has offered his 10 tips on how to communicate with someone who suffers with the disease.
Ensure you use eye contact with the person
You may also want to lower yourself to the persons level and talk to them at a distance, this is to avoid being intimidating. Also ensure you keep your tone positive.
Be patient and calm
Although it may be difficult, try not to interrupt the person. Don’t
try and complete their sentences for them as this may anger them.
Use things that may jog their memory
Try using photo albums, music or items they own to try and help them remember things which can help facilitate conversation and help them remember good memories in their life.
Ask easy and one point questions
Many times in conversations the questions we ask can seem complicated and have more than one point to them. Try to keep it easy and ask one line questions so they have time to think and to answer.
Encourage them to join in conversations with others
Sometimes social clubs can be very helpful for this type of thing as it encourages them to get out and talk to people more regularly.
Speak clearly and slowly using small sentences
Do not patronise the person suffering with dementia
If they suddenly go off topic and change the entire course of conversation, just go along with it and seem interested.
Try to get rid of any background noise or distractions such as loud TV or radio, as noise in the background might make them more confused and they may lose their train of thought.
Refer to their name and try to use it as much as possible
Do not be afraid if there are nay silences within the conversation
This can make some people feel awkward but dementia sufferers usually do not notice this. Just try and be understanding and perhaps listen to music together if the conversation is struggling.
The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) test is designed to detect early signs of cognitive decline or issues with memory, which are often indicators of dementia. But what is it?