Communication and living with memory loss

Some useful tips from our partners at the Alzheimer’s Society about communication and living with memory loss.

People living with memory loss can struggle with communication. They may have trouble finding the right words, repeat themselves, or find following a conversation challenging. When working with people with memory loss it is important to remember that other factors may also be making communication difficult, such as hearing loss or perception difficulties. Effective communication is important for helping each individual to feel involved in the activity; helping to build confidence and encouraging participation. When working with people who experience memory loss, try to think about the way you are communicating and consider these tips below:

  • Speak clearly about one topic at a time.
  • Be aware of your body language. Try to be at the same level as the person you are talking to.
  • Include the person in decisions and never talk over them.
  • Listen to the person and give them time to respond – we all need a few moments to gather our thoughts.
  • Think about not only what you say, but how you say it. Your tone of voice is very important.
  • Be aware of changes in behaviour. If someone is not enjoying themselves or becoming confused, change the activity.
  • Reassure the person throughout and always be positive about their contribution.