Quick Tips for Talking to Someone with Dementia

I like lists. This one is about communicating with someone who has dementia. It was given to me at a support group at my dad’s first memory care community. I was new to the journey at the time and was overwhelmed, so I really appreciated its simplicity and brevity. I hope it helps you.

Ten “Nevers” for Caregivers

  • Never ARGUE . . . Instead, AGREE
  • Never REASON . . . Instead, DIVERT
  • Never SHAME . . . Instead, DISTRACT
  • Never LECTURE . . . Instead, REASSURE
  • Never say “REMEMBER” . . . Instead, REMINISCE
  • Never say “I TOLD YOU” . . . Instead, REPEAT
  • Never say “YOU CAN’T” . . . Instead say, “DO WHAT YOU CAN”
  • Never COMMAND or DEMAND . . . Instead, ASK or MODEL
  • Never CONDESCEND . . . Instead, ENCOURAGE and PRAISE
  • Never FORCE . . . Instead, REINFORCE

(The creator of the list was not credited on the handout I received from the staff at Emeritus at Austin Gardens; please let me know if you know who it is.)

People used to get "dressed up" when they traveled on an airplane. This was taken in 1967 when my mom and dad were on their way to Germany.

People used to get “dressed up” when they traveled on an airplane. This was taken in 1967 when my mom and dad were on their way to Germany.

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5 responses to “Quick Tips for Talking to Someone with Dementia

    • Thanks. I think it would be a good one to print out and pass around to friends/family who aren’t inclined to read books, attend lectures, etc. Even just this little bit of information can be helpful though. 🙂

    • I kind of think these tips would be helpful with any “challenging” person – not just with people who have dementia.:-)

      • I agree! I am enjoying every single picture that you post! The dairy farm and the profile pic of your dad! I’m not sure how you are making reading about dementia something to look forward to but there it is. Hope your week is awesome, Susan. Thank you so much for writing.

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