This is the second of three newsletters presenting methods of working with dementia residents in a potentially more productive manner.

As stated in our earlier newsletter on this subject: Certain parts of our brain protect us by responding immediately to dangers without thinking. Other parts of the brain evaluate the danger and then we decide on a course of conduct. With dementia participants and residents, the evaluation part of the brain does not commonly work well, and they are just left with the immediate response without thinking. 

We have previously listed 3 methods of working with those with dementia in a more productive manner.

  1. Be at eye level
  2. Keep smiling and
  3. Try to come alone

Here are 6 additional methods:

  1. Try to maintain a quiet environment so there are not confusing and competing sounds or loud noises.
  2. Avoid “Baby talk” but speak respectfully in simple terms and sentences as “Baby talk” may be insulting and cause agitation which results in resistance. 
  3. Try different distracting events to see what will help. One may be distracted by a stuffed animal and another by gentle singing or humming. If one strategy does not work, then you can try another.
  4. It is best to slowly give simple directions or one step commands so they have the time and ability to process what is being said.
  5. If the participant or resident is agitated, it may be necessary to let someone replace you and they might have better results.
  6. Using simple hand gestures or pointing for things like direction may help them understand.

All of the Comprehensive Mobile Care associated Providers and their support staff understand these 15 methods and use them for better interaction with those with dementia.

Brookdale Leadership in Aging Foundation, Rita A Jablonski PHD, CRNP et al