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 be given instead of one they cannot remember They may speak fluently, but not make sense
They may not be able to understand what you are saying or only be able to grasp part of it Writing and reading skills may also deteriorate
They may lose the normal social conventions of conversations and interrupt or ignore a speaker, or fail to respond when spoken to They may have difficulty expressing emotions appropriately. A person with later stages of dementia will have increasing difficulty in understanding what is said or what is going on around them. They may gradually lose their speech, or repeat a few words or cry out from time to time.
1.2 People with dementia may have physical health difficulties too, like loss of hearing, make sure that the hearing aids are working well and that you speak to them in a loud clear voice so they can understand you. The person could also be in pain or discomfort; they could be having side effects from medication which will affect the way they communicate with you. Other problems would be eyesight, make sure they are wearing the correct prescription of glasses. Dentures are important as well, if the dentures are loose fitting then this will affect the person’s speech and this will be...
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