#DementiaActionWeek Question 2

What words/phrases should be avoided when talking to someone who is living with dementia?

adult art awakening black and white
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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