Communication and Dementia

Topics: Communication, Time, Short-term memory Pages: 11 (3368 words) Published: April 13, 2014
Unit 18: Understanding the role of communication and interactions with individuals who have dementia

Unit Code: DEM 308

1. How do individuals with dementia communicate through their behaviour (1.1)

Persons with dementia may communicate through behaviours such as:

Repetition of actions or questions, this may communicate anxiety over memory loss, boredom from inactivity, to seek reassurance, picking at clothing due to anxiety. •Aggression, this may communicate depression, an inability to rationalise, impaired judgment, feeling embarrassed and fearful of humiliation, frustration that they are unable to remember what they are meant to be doing or that others do not understand their need to accomplish tasks that they feel to be important. Can find no other way to express themselves. •Pacing or walking, this may communicate a desire to visit a certain place or person. Although the individual may have forgotten who or where. They may be bored and attempting to use up energy, uncomfortable from sitting, confusion about what they are meant to be doing or where they are, to enter in to past routines of behaviour that once served an important purpose that the individual feels they need to accomplish. •Becoming suspicious of others, this may communicate that the individual is experiencing memory loss and is having difficulty recognizing familiar faces •Pointing and vocalizing to communicate their intentions as the individual loses the use and understanding of their vocabulary 2. How you as a carer can misinterpret communication (1.2)

Not being attentive and missing behavioural communications such as picking at items, failing to make eye contact or being out of the persons view, not creating an environment conducive to communication (adequate lighting, low background noise levels etc) •Not allowing the individual time to process information before continuing the conversation. •Misunderstanding the intention behind a given response as the individual may mean one thing but say another. •Individuals in a support team may fail to record information and communicate with one another when they have identified a need for a behaviour and the correct response to that need. i.e., the individual may pace because they are anxious remembering a forgotten routine (the need to catch the bus so they are not late for work). •Asking open rather than closed questions requiring a yes or no answer. Making communication difficult.

3. Explain the importance of effective communication with individuals with dementia (1.3) We all communicate to express needs and share information. In order for these needs to be met there must be someone open to receive information and a receptive environment in order for information to be shared effectively. As a person with dementia already has a compromised ability to communicate, communication needs to be effective and understood or the client may not understand what is being done to them, where they are being taking. It is important that for effective communication to take place the care giver: •Creates an environment that supports effective communication oAdjust lighting so you can be seen and you can in tern see, adjust lighting, close curtains if excessively sunny etc. oReduce the distraction of background noises

oApproach communication when there is reduced or no distracting activity in the surrounding environment oTry to make the individual’s environment comfortable in terms of temperature, seating arrangements, attempting to meet baser needs, food, drink, toileting. •Presents themself in a way that supports communication:

oPosition yourself in a way that enables eye contact to be made (but not to invade personal space or intimidate) oBe aware of your non-verbal bodily communication, allow the individual to see your body language as they will be more receptive to this than speech, ensure your body language is in keeping with your intentions to avoid mixed messages •Speech:...
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