Dementia Patients

June 8, 2011

Different ways to communicate with a person who has all the signs of Dementia will depend on the person who is affected by Dementia.  There are ways to assist with effective communicate, all it takes is assessing the different individual and working out the best strategies for Dementia Patients.

Here are 7 ways to effectively communicate with a resident in a nursing home who has been diagnosed with Dementia

1.       Look at environmental clues. For example if you are assisting with feeding, then show the cups, knives, plates, forks and the food. Talking as well as showing them what you are about to carry out will help the resident to feel more at ease.

Nursing Dementia Patient2.       Work with one on one situation and give one instruction at a time. If you have two or more nursing careers in the room, and give out instruction after instruction then the Dementia Patient will become too confused.

3.       Turn off any noises that are too distracting as noises will make it too hard for the Dementia Patient to concentrate on what you are talking about. Especially the TV or the Radio. If you want a one-on-one conversation that will be directed towards to the Dementia resident then you need to minimise the noise level.

4.       Use a clear voice. If you can lower the tone of the voice so that the Dementia Patient will be able to hear what you are saying.

5.       Make sure that you are standing face to face with the Dementia resident so that they can hear what you are saying. Especially if they are experiencing hearing difficulties

6.       Speak slowly and wait for the resident to respond. The Dementia person will need time to process what you have said, so many times nursing carers answer the question before waiting for the Dementia resident to answer.

Calming Voice

Speak in a slow calm voice. If you speak in a manner that is over the top, too loud and has too much different pitches then you will likely to scare the Dementia Resident, and cause long term effects. Acutally a good nurse will ease the Dementia Patients. Its very easy to see who has been on in the shift before a change of shifts because the Dementia Patients respond to different behaviours. If a carer is too loud, then the Dementia Patient will be distraught. If the Dementia Patient is calm is because the staff are calm.

Dementia Patients At Ease

Its best to have a Dementia Patient at Ease then to have a Dementia Patient that is upset. It only takes one carer to speak in a manner that easily rubs the Dementia Patient the wrong way and then its an afternoon of unease. A good nurse is a nurse that cares how the Dementia Patient is feeling.

Nursing Issues.

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3 Responses to Dementia Patients

  1. John Davis on June 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Hello Nurse,

    These are some useful tips for careers of patients with dementia or alzhiemers. We need to be patient with these people as it is an illness anyone can be affected bye..


    • Nursing on June 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm


      Its is an condition that can affect anyone, anytime. No matter what career you have, or how much money you have. Dementia Patients need to be treated as a person who needs more time, with a calm nurse who cares about the individual person.

      Nursing Issues.

  2. Beth Boynton, RN, MS on June 11, 2011 at 4:20 am

    Great article and tips. I’d like to add that it can be a key communication skill to validate whatever a patient is saying.

    Pt: “I want to go home”
    Other: “I understand you want to go home. Is it frustrating to feel like you are stuck here?”

    This can help turn the conversation into support around wanting to go home rather than an endless and unproductive explanation about why s/he can’t.

    Beth Boynton, RN, MS
    Author, “Confident Voices: The Nurses’ Guide to Improving Communication & Creating Positive Workplaces”.

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