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Senior Living Insurance: Interacting With Dementia Patients

Senior Living Insurance: Interacting With Dementia PatientsSenior Living Insurance: Interacting With Dementia Patients

Dementia is a progressive illness that is all too common among senior living facilities. Over time, this illness affects a person’s ability to remember and understand basic everyday facts, such as names, dates, and places. It will also eventually affect the way the person communicates.

Communicating with someone who has memory or cognitive problems can at times be tiring and frustrating. It’s important to remember though, that the situation is just as frustrating, confusing, and even scary for the dementia patient.

Taking steps to understand dementia could help you when you encounter residents who have memory problems. Here are some general guidelines to follow for when you are communicating and interacting with dementia patients.

Encourage Conversations

  • Speak clearly and slowly to them, using short sentences
  • Make eye contact
  • Don’t make them respond quickly, as this can stress them out and actually reduce the chances that they will comprehend what you are saying
  • Don’t speak on behalf of the individual unless asked, and respond to them directly if they have a family member speaking for them

Display Good Body Language

  • Maintain eye contact and a calm expression, even if the patient is repeating themselves
  • Try not to stand too close to them, as this can intimidate them
  • Be aware of their facial expressions and be aware of your tone if they appear to not understand, or are upset by, what you are saying

Actively Listen

  • Try not to interrupt the person you are speaking to, even if you know what they might be trying to say or if they are repeating themselves
  • Respond to what they are saying by repeating it or asking them questions to ensure understanding
  • If possible, stop whatever task you are working on so you can give them your full attention.

The most important thing to remember when interacting with dementia patients or residents with other cognitive problems is that they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. At DigniCARE, we’re poised to help your senior living facility meet the challenges of a changing environment where the goal is to elevate the quality of life for residents. Our services encompass innovative solutions for assisted living facilitiesindependent living facilitiesnursing homes, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). To learn more call (855) 883-6306.

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