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Explian How Individuals with Dementia Communicate Through Their Behaviour

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  • December 2012
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1. Explain how individuals with dementia may communicate through their behaviour.

Dementia sufferers communicate in many different ways. They may not be able to speak but they can communicate non-verbally with positive or negative behaviour. They can also communicate using body language and through posture. One service user who was blind was hard to settle, because he couldn’t see it was hard to communicate, he was unable to express himself verbally and he was very anxious and depressed. He had moved from Bala where he was brought up many years ago but he still thought that he lived in Bala and got anxious because he thought he was in someone else’s house, so what we used to do was take him out in the car and drive around the block and then come back in, and only then would he calm down and we could tell by his body language that he was less anxious and his behaviour changed.

2. Give examples of how carers and others may misinterpret communication.

Aggressive/ bad behaviour may be misinterpreted by someone who doesn’t know the individual very well. The answer may be as simple as sitting in the wrong seat. The individual may also lash out because they are in pain; they may become aggressive because they are in so much pain and cannot tell you, which in turn can lead to frustration.

3. Explain the importance of effective communication to an individual with dementia.

Communicating with a person with dementia can be very difficult. In the early stages of dementia individuals have trouble finding the words to express their thoughts or wishes, and are unable to remember the meaning of simple words. But as the disease progresses it becomes more difficult as the language skills become impaired, which makes it very difficult to understand what they are trying to say. Positive communication can help a person with dementia to maintain their dignity and self esteem. Giving the right attitude and using the right forms of communication will...