A little support makes a big difference


With the many stresses and electronic distractions of today’s world, really listening and giving your full attention to anyone can be a challenge.

But practicing good listening skills and paying attention can make a big difference for people living with dementia to feel heard and socially included.

Try sharing this list of suggestions with your family or care providers and friends:

Put your phone down, turn away from the screen, don’t think about your schedule or the jobs you need to do. People can tell when you’re distracted and not really listening.

Be empathetic, don’t judge me as I am talking. To truly understand what I am saying and where I am coming from, try to see the world from my perspective.

Be aware of yourself and about what you’re saying and how I may perceive it.

Use body language to show me that you’re listening, nod encouragingly, lean in. This will help me feel more comfortable and confident that I am being heard.

Being interested, asking open-ended questions and being open to learning from me can create more meaningful conversations. The better you listen to me, the better our relationship will become. This will help me to feel more connected, more valued and less isolated.

You can also direct your family and friends to read our 7 tips to support people living with dementia, share the link via email or social media.

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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.