8 Tips for How to Talk With Someone Who Has Dementia

Communication becomes one of the most significant issues for dementia patients. When dealing with a dementia patient, talking to the person can be a big challenge. If someone has Dementia, apart from losing memory, they also face issues expressing their thoughts and ideas. Moreover, the patient also fails to understand others. That’s why you must be more careful while communicating with a dementia patient.

If you have a loved one who has Dementia, you need to take a different approach to talk to them. Maintain your calm and be patient with a dementia patient. Only love and care can help these people. Here some of the most useful tips are mentioned, which will help you talk with a dementia patient effectively.

Avoid infantilizing.

Patients who have Dementia are not infants. Maybe they have lost their abilities because of the disease, but this does not mean you can treat them like infants.

With infants, we use a loud tone and talk with an authoritative voice most of the time. Never do this to a dementia patient. Always treat them with respect and honor.

Use their names while talking.

Dementia patients often fail to maintain their focus. As a result, in between a conversation, they feel lost. Using their names brings them back to the conversation. So, try to use their names in between your speeches to focus on the topic easily.

Also, avoid using other loving terms like honey, dear, or sweetheart. All these terms can be really confusing for the patient after a stage.

Touch gently.

Gentle touches can help you to communicate with a dementia patient effectively. A gentle pat on their shoulders and holding hands while talking are useful ways for communication. But make sure that the patient responds positively to physical touches.

Some dementia patients like to maintain personal space, and when someone invades that privacy, they feel uncomfortable. So, check how the patient responds to gentle touches and talk accordingly.

Avoid talking loudly.

Different types of Dementia triggers different impairments. But not all types of Dementia cause hearing impairment. So, being loud is not mandatory whenever you communicate with a patient. If you talk loudly, they may feel that you are screaming and yelling at them.

So, use a clear and normal tone while talking to patients and not make confusing statements. If you sense any hearing impairment in the patient, then you can raise your voice a bit. So, depending on the patient’s condition and problems, decide a suitable tone.

Keep it simple.

Keep the conversation as simple as possible. As Dementia progresses, the patient fails to understand any complicated statement. For example, if you use figures of speech to mean something else, the patient will take the literal meaning of those words and make a different meaning out of it.

Such proverbial interpretation tests are medically done on people to detect Dementia. So, form simple and direct sentences to communicate with the patient.

Never ignore the patient.

Ignoring the person affects their confidence terribly. So, never ignore their response. Ask them directly instead of turning to their family if you have some questions. Wait for the response and let them express their thoughts.

Never talk about the patient and ignore their presence. Dementia patients may understand more than you think, so always speak to them with respect and address them directly.

Maintain the same level.

When talking to a dementia patient, avoid standing up while talking if they are sitting. Maintaining the same level ensures effective communication. This may cause some discomfort for you, but try not to look down on a dementia patient while talking. This will make the patient feel more comfortable while talking to you.

Do not ask too many questions.

Dementia patients have lower cognitive ability. So, they cannot think fast and come up with quick responses. So, never fire one after another question to a dementia patient. You can ask a few questions to check the patient but always keep your queries limited. You do not want to over-burden the patient with mental pressure.


These are some of the most useful strategies you can use to communicate with a dementia patient effectively. Apart from these, always make steady eye contact with the patient. Maintaining a warm smile is also reassuring for the patient. So, always infuse the communication with respect and love to overcome all odds. So, follow all these tips and communicate with dementia patients smoothly.

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