Talking To Someone With Dementia

Tips On Talking To Someone With Dementia


Before dementia, it’s easy to talk to the person you love. Now that their understanding slowly fades away, it becomes harder to communicate. Here are 5 useful tips on talking to someone with dementia.


  • Do not do “baby talks” with them.

Treating an elder with dementia as an infant will do no good. Instead, treat him or her with honor and use a respectful tone of voice regardless of how much he or she can or cannot understand.

  • Give gentle touches to get their attention. Talking To Someone With Dementia

Most dementia patients appreciate gentle touch though there are some who might be defensive. Consider giving a little pat on their shoulders or hold their hands as you talk to them. These gentle touches convey that you care.

  • Do not yell at them even if they have hearing problems.

Always speak in a normal tone of voice to start a conversation. Once you find out that he/she has a hearing problem, you can increase your volume gradually until he/she can hear.

  • Be literal, refrain from using figures of speech.

A person with dementia cannot fully understand everything we say to them in an instant. Be patient in explaining things to them and refrain from using deep sentences that has a complex meaning to it. An example is “Break a leg”. This may mean literally breaking a leg to them. (We do not want this, do we?)

  • Smile and make eye contact.

A pleasant non-verbal communication plays a big role in connecting to a person with dementia. By projecting a genuine smile and eye contact, you may give them a sense of reassurance and security. You can make them feel that you are glad to be with him/her with these 2 basic gestures.


Memory Care

Your loved one with dementia has special needs. A memory care home provides a quality life despite the challenges of mental illness.


Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our Residential Care Community, we’re happy to assist: Harmony Guest Home – (503) 648-3413 or


Also see:

Understanding Memory Care

Alzheimer’s Support Group | Getting The Help You Need