5 Tips on how to deal with someone with Dementia
Tip 1 – Accept people with Dementia as they are and take them seriously
Think along with them. Be interested and go along with their experience as much as possible. Don’t try to correct or argue too much. This way you emphasize what someone with dementia no longer knows or can do.
Tip 2 – Be clear
Make sure you speak calmly and can be heard clearly. Don’t speak too loudly, too quickly and in short sentences. Ask one question at a time. Wait a while until you get a response. See if they understand you.
Tip 3 – Make a connection before you say or ask anything
Make eye contact or gently put your hand on the arm of the person with dementia before speaking. Get permission (“are you okay if …”) before acting. This is reassuring and leaves the control with the person with dementia.
Tip 4 – Give compliments!
In this way, someone gets the feeling that they can (still) do something well and that increases their self-esteem. Participation and enjoyment is important for people with dementia. Don’t try to correct too much.
Tip 5 – Leave room for emotions
People with dementia cry easily or feel rushed. Allow for those emotions to be there. Name the feelings you see or hear: “I see that you are happy / afraid / sad”. Also do not behave more cheerful than you are, someone with dementia will immediately sense that.
Golden Tip : look at what someone with dementia can still do!
In dementia, the emphasis is often on what no longer works. Of course, things go wrong, but people with dementia can still do a lot! Try to focus on what is going well. Is exercise still going well? Then go for a walk or work together in the garden. Does someone with dementia still enjoy music or film? Visit a concert or cinema together. And if that gives too much stimuli, sing well-known songs together or watch an old time favorite on TV.
The long-term memory is often still good!