A little support makes a big difference

Be respectful

It is important to be respectful to people living with dementia. Respect that the person is still the same person, but with different abilities to before. Treat people how you yourself would like to be treated.

Communicating well with people living with dementia

For people living with dementia, having difficulty in communicating with others can be one of the most frustrating and challenging issues they face. This can include struggling to find the right words and keeping up with the conversation.

It’s important to be patient when speaking to people with dementia and give them the time they need to gather their thoughts and finish their sentences.

Here are some tips for communicating respectfully with people with dementia:

  • Look at the person you are speaking to
  • Allow enough time for what you’ve said to be understood and for the person to finish what they are saying
  • Remain calm and talk in a matter-of-fact way
  • Keep sentences short and simple, and focus on one idea at a time
  • Try to find a quiet environment and take time out to have discussions that might require extra time
  • You might want to acknowledge if you don’t know anyone who has dementia
  • It is important not to use a condescending tone of voice.

Other resources:

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The National Dementia Helpline is a free service that provides information and advice to all people who would like to know more about dementia or access services and support.

Dementia Australia’s national library service offers print and digital resources about dementia. Explore information related to these tips by accessing the library guide.