Important information for Dementia Friends Champions:
To ensure the Dementia Friends initiative is giving out the most relevant and useful information, we are constantly looking to develop and improve our programme, by sharing best practice and responding to feedback given by people living with dementia and you, our Champions.
With this in mind, we have updated one of the Bingo/Broken Sentences statements to give practical tips about how best to communicate with people who are living with dementia. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with the changes.
Our colleagues in Northern Ireland, who run dementia awareness activities there, have had really positive responses to this statement so we wanted to draw from their experience and share this information across England and Wales too.
The new statement is: People with dementia can still communicate effectively.
As we have already discussed, some people with dementia can struggle with communication but there are lots of things we can do to help.
Q: When talking with someone with dementia, what do you think you could do to support them?
A: Possible examples:
• Reduce distractions – turn off loud TVs or move to a quieter area
• Speak at a slower pace – speak clearly and calmly, using shorter sentences
• Think about your body language – maintain eye contact and ensure your facial expression matches your message
• Use aids – you could use visual clues, like written words, pictures or objects
• Listen – give plenty of encouragement and, if needed, repeat back what you’ve understood to make sure it’s correct
Whatever you do, never talk about people with dementia as if they are not there or talk to them as you would to a child – people with dementia still deserve our respect.
If you have any questions about this change, please get in contact with your Regional Support Officer.