What words/phrases should be avoided when talking to someone who is living with dementia?
Avoid using words that can cause offence – instead of using dementia sufferer or dementia victim for example – use phrases such as ‘person with dementia’, ‘person living with dementia’ or ‘person living well with dementia’ – simple stuff
- Set a positive mood for interaction
- Get the person’s attention.
- State your message clearly by speaking clearly and calmly.
- Ask simple, answerable questions. Speak at a slightly slower pace, and allow time between sentences for the person to process the information and respond.
- Break down activities into a series of steps. Use short, simple sentences.
- When the going gets tough, distract and redirect. Avoid speaking sharply or raising your voice.
We also do not say that people ‘wander’ – they are walking with purpose. Their aim is to get someone to do something – there is a purpose behind it. The reason for their walk may not always make sense, but nonetheless, it has a purpose