Understand The Role Of Communication And Interactions With Individuals Who Have Dementia

Last Updated: 12 Mar 2023
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People who have dementia can communicate in different ways depending on how they feel and the type of dementia someone has. If an individual has dementia they might not be able to speak so as a career it’s important to read the body language of the individual. If they make funny noises or they are acting out of character or if they are being very loud then this may mean they are not happy and that they are angry. If they are lively and smiling and laughing then this may mean that they are happy and is feeling in a good mood.

If the individual suddenly gets up from his/her arm chair and walks around then if may mean that they need to go to the toilet. If an individual who has dementia can talk then you can usually know how they are feeling through their tone of voice. If the tone of voice is sharp and clear then it might mean that they are upset or cross, if they are very quiet and talking softly then it might be scared and feeling very lonely.

It is very easy to misinterpret someone who has dementia. For example, If a lady or gentleman gets up from the chair and walks to the other side of the room, careers may think that he/she just wants to walk around to stretch his/her legs but in fact he/she needs to go to the toilet. Another example would be if a gentlemen is shouting for no apparent reason it might be because he is in pain but doesn’t know how to tell someone, a career might not realise this and may this he wants something instead. Also another example would be if a lady is asked if they would like something and they said no but actually they mean yes they would, careers wouldn’t realise what she means and ends up not giving her anything.

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There are different types of dementia which may affect the way someone will communicate. Dementia will affect an individual’s communication depending of what part of the brain the disease has affected. Here is a table to show which dementia effects communications.

DementiaHow it affects communication
Alzheimer’s disease

If someone has Alzheimer’s disease then they regularly forget names, faces and recent events. They have problem finding the right words so can be hard making a conversation. Also they would have mood or behaviour problems such as irritability or loss in confidence so it would be hard for them to talk to someone and describe want they would like and making decisions. Vascular Dementia

People with this type of dementia would find it hard to communicate because they find it difficult finding the right words to say. They may use inappropriate words which people may get offended as they don’t understand. They also become more emotional which again may affect the way they communicate to someone. Dementia with Lewy bodies

Individuals with this type of dementia would find it difficult to communicate because of the variation in attention. It may be hard to communicate because they wouldn’t be focused as they are confused and not really listening. FTD (Frontotemporal Dementia)

This dementia is quite rare as it affects only 11,000 people in the UK compared with dementia with lewy bodies which affects about 100,000 people in the UK. People with FTD will have a decline in language abilities so they would find it difficult with trying to find the right word, finding it difficult to speak and have trouble with understanding common words and people’s names. Also in the later stages the reason why an individual may find it hard to communicate relates to the persons memory.

The physical and mental needs that would affect communication with someone who had dementia would be a stroke. If someone had dementia it would be hard for them to try and talk and communicate but with a stroke as well it would be really hard to communicate as they would lose the use of their one side so their speech would be even more affected. In time the individual would get frustrated because they can’t speak and explain to people what they want or need. A mental affect with communication would be depression. If an individual had dementia and also suffered with depression, they would find it hard to talk to people as they find it hard to live through each day. They would find it hard to talk because of their dementia so they would be able to express how they feel therefore would become even more depressed.

If an individual has dementia had a sensory impairment would find it difficult to communicate. For example if gentlemen could see he would find it hard to explain what he wants as he can’t talk very well due to the dementia. Even if u offered a choice to him he would be able to say which one he wanted because of the dementia and would be able to point to the choice he would like because he can’t see. If a lady had a hearing impairment and had dementia she would find it hard because she would feel like she was in some sort of bubble as she can’t hear or talk to people. She would feel so down and depressed because there is a lack of understanding between the carer and the individual. The lady’s well being would decline and her eating habits may also decrease as well.

The environment would affect an individual who suffer from dementia because they wouldn’t recognise their surroundings so they would feel lost and maybe scared. It is important to have things and objects that they recognise because they won’t forget who they are. People who have dementia lose their confidence so being in a different environment would ‘throw them out of place’ so to speak. They would feel even lonelier as they wouldn’t know anyone. Having new things around you would make an individual with dementia feel even more disorientated as they would feel agitated and wouldn’t be able to relax because they are not familiar with the environment.

The way people interact with dementia patients can vary between the way careers or other people behave towards them. For example is a career was feeling down, looking miserable and not putting any effort into their working then the individual would see and feel it and would not cooperate with you. If a career was really happy, jolly and being loud the individual may feel intimidated and again they wouldn’t want to cooperate. If the career was calm, relaxed and spoke in a clear voice then the chances are the individual would comply and do things as you ask. It is very important to know how to approach a person with dementia because they don’t know who you are so you can’t do anything that they wouldn’t like. You would have to be polite and give clear instructions of you would like them to do. If you are friendly with them then they would be friendly back.

The way you talk to someone with dementia is very important because it’s hard for the person to understand what they are doing because they have dementia but if you say it in a way that’s positive, loud and clear you would try get them to understand. You would have to speak proper English especially if you are working with the elderly, you can’t use any slang words because they wouldn’t understand what you mean. When talking you must slow down so they can hear what you are ask and you have to be polite when asking otherwise they would find you rude and words because again they would do what you ask.

Also you have to talk in simple terms and not use big words because again they wouldn’t understand and if you do ask them to do something don’t ask all at once, ask in stages, for example if you are helping someone to get up in the morning instead of asking ‘Can you get out of bed’?, ask them in stages, Can you sit up’? Then ‘can you bring your feet around’? And then ‘can you stand up please’? This way the individuals thought process is less so can do each step at a time. This in time would make the individual more happier and comfortable being around you and overall a positive atmosphere.

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Understand The Role Of Communication And Interactions With Individuals Who Have Dementia. (2016, Aug 18). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/understand-the-role-of-communication-and-interactions-with-individuals-who-have-dementia/

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