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Archive for May 2012

How to Communicate with People Who Have Dementia Part 5

Ask yourself, “What difference does it make?”  The simple question, “What difference does it make?” may simplify the complex question of “How cognitively intact must a person be to make this decision?” For instance, it matters very little if a person’s clothing matches (the person with dementia can choose what to wear); or what a…

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How to Communicate with People Who Have Dementia Part 5

 Use important nonverbal communications.  Using these tips is key to showing respect and to enhancing the quality of life for individuals with dementia—and may be more important than verbal communication Smile and be at ease. The message being conveyed is one of trust and respect.                   Notice your facial cues. Avoid furrowing your brows, rolling your…

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How to Communicate with People Who Have Dementia Part 3

 Use these verbal communication tips  Good communication skills are critical to respecting the autonomy of individuals living with dementia and to encouraging them to make their own choices. The following communication techniques are respectful and socially engaging, and they encourage choice:                         Maintain eye contact with the person.                         Use the person’s name frequently.                        …

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How to Communicate with People Who Have Dementia

 Recognize the difference between competency and capacity  While individuals with dementia may be judged legally incompetent, they generally retain some cognitive capacity to make decisions and exercise personal choice. Preserving their personal choice is critical to respecting them, to enhancing their personal worth, and to fostering social engagement.   Competency is a legal term. Because it…

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How to Communicate with People Who Have Dementia

  Believe in their personhood The goal in caring for a person with dementia is their well-being. Tom Kitwood, one of the most respected voices in early dementia care and the author of Dementia Reconsidered, says that we can enhance the well-being of individuals with dementia by “facilitating a sense of personal worth, a sense of…

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Alzheimer’s Symptom: Gets lost, even on familiar routes

When it happens Mild-stage dementia Why it happens Memory loss combines with disorientation caused by “motion blindness,” the inability to perceive motion well and navigate the environment. What you can do Know that getting lost can happen at any time, even on a walk or drive the person has made hundreds of times. Know, too,…

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Sure-fire warning signs that a senior needs more help

If an adult child or caregiver notices certain warning signs, the senior probably requires assistance on a more regular basis. Some signs to look for are: Spoiled food that doesn’t get thrown away Missing important appointments Difficulty with walking, balance and mobility Uncertainty and confusion when performing once-familiar tasks Forgetfulness Unpleasant body odor or noticeable…

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