Dem 312

DEM 312: Understand and enable interaction and communication with individuals who have dementia.

Individuals with different forms of dementia experience difficulties in interacting and communicating with others because they have problems making sense of the world in which they live. The person may become fearful, frustrated and stressful if they perceive themselves to be in a threatening environment.   All forms of dementia can affect the way a person communicates, so in time they may have to find different ways of expressing themselves and their feelings. As a carer your non-verbal communication will become important, your body language, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact and tone of voice will have to be taken into account when you are communicating with a sufferer. In the early stages of some forms of dementia people may have difficulty finding the right word they are looking for, and in the later stages of some forms of dementia the words could be lost completely. As the dementia progresses, it gets a lot harder for the person to put a sentence together, regular responses like ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ will be maintained for the longest period of time, in the later stages of dementia the person may find it difficult to speak at all.

People with dementia may have other difficulties too, like loss of hearing, it is therefore essential to ensure that their hearing aids are working well and that they are spoken to in a loud clear voice so they can understand you. The person could also be in pain or discomfort, they could be having side effects from medication which will affect the way they communicate with you. Other problems would be eyesight, make sure they are wearing the correct prescription of glasses. Dentures are important aswell, if the dentures are loose fitting then this will affect the person’s speech and this will be frustrating for them.

When an individual with dementia has sensory impairment it will be necessary to think...