understand and enable positive interaction and communication with individuals who have dementia

1117 words 5 pages
Unit 371 – Understand and enable positive interaction and
Communication with individuals who have dementia.

1.1 Losing the ability to communicate can be one of the most frustrating and difficult problems for people with dementia, their families and carers. As the illness progresses, a person with dementia experiences a gradual lessening of their ability to communicate. They find it more and more difficult to express themselves clearly and to understand what others say.
Each person with dementia is unique and difficulties in communicating thoughts and feelings are very individual. There are many causes of dementia, each affecting the brain in different ways. Some changes include:
Difficulty in finding a word. A related word might
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Speaking clearly, and rephrasing questions or instructions they do not understand may put the individual at ease.

2.1 As dementia develops, it can cause behaviour changes that can be confusing, irritating or difficult for others to deal with, leaving carers, partners and family members feeling stressed, irritable or helpless. By learning to understand the meaning behind the actions, it can be easier to stay calm and deal effectively with the challenges that arise.
Remembering that the individual is not being deliberately difficult, their sense of reality may be very different to yours but very real to them. Dementia can affect a person's ability to use logic and reason so things that may seem obvious to you might appear to be very different for the person with dementia.
Ask yourself whether the behaviour is really a problem. If the behaviour is linked to a particular activity such as washing or dressing, ask yourself if this task really needs to be done right now or if you could leave it for a while until the person has calmed down.
Try to put yourself in the person's situation. Imagine how they might be feeling and what they might be trying to express.
Offer as much reassurance as you can.
Remember that all behaviour is a means of communication. If you can establish what the person is trying to communicate, you will resolve the problem much more quickly.
Distract the person with calming activities such as a hand massage, stroking a pet, a drive in

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