• Good communication skills can greatly help in handling difficult behavior from your loved one.
  • Minimize distractions and noise to help the person focus on what you’re saying.
  • Using a calm and gentle tone of voice, ask simple, answerable questions in a positive way.

Next Step

Routines and other daily activities can help keep your loved one engaged and content.

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A few simple tips can help you begin to communicate better with a loved one suffering from dementia. Solid communication skills can make your caregiving role less stressful and may help you build a stronger relationship with your loved one.

Work Together

In the early stages, your loved one can take part in his or her care. Share your concerns and frustrations with each other. Work together to find strategies to maintain independence.

It may sound obvious, but one of the most important things to remember is to actually talk to your loved one. Tell him or her what you’re doing and why. Also, let him or her provide input or make decisions as much as possible.

Listening to your loved one will require patience. Allow enough time to respond. If the person is struggling to find a word, try to gently provide it. People with dementia often feel unsure of themselves. Respond with both verbal and physical affection and reassurance. Sometimes a touch such as a hug or hand-squeeze can convey more than words.

Next Step: Learn how daily activities can help keep your loved one engaged and content.

Ask the Expert


Experts at the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America have the answers to your toughest Alzheimer’s and dementia questions.

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