Finding Ways To Talk To People With Dementia

3rd April 2016
Now that my nan’s getting into the more severe stages of Alzheimer’s I’m noticing it’s becoming more difficult to hold a conversation with her.

This is normal for those with Dementia because the disease shuts down parts of the brain bit by bit so communication and speech can be affected hugely.

My nan is forgetting a lot of recent events and can become frustrated when she can’t find the right words to describe something. More recently she is finding it hard to follow the flow of a conversation and I find myself sitting there not knowing what to talk about so I’ve started to look at ways I can help her.

NRS Healthcare Dementia Conversation Cards
Some of the NRS Conversation Cards

I’ve been trying to find ways to engage with my nan and I was told there are conversation cards which have been created by NRS Healthcare to help start conversations with older people.

NRS Healthcare are trying to raise awareness for the issue of loneliness for older people, which seems to be something that’s increasing in this country and personally I hate the thought that one day I may be stuck at home day in day out with not one single visitor.

Whilst these cards are designed to encourage people to talk to older people in general, they are also relevant for those with dementia. They include questions about the person’s past which is something that I have completely forgotten about asking nan.

Whilst her short term memory is failing my nan can still remember vivid details about her childhood and early adult life so these cards have given me some hope. It’s also a bonus that the cards are free so all I needed to do was download them and print them off.

This morning I was catching up on some episodes of Neighbours and noticed they are featuring dementia. Doug’s granddaughter was filming him talking about his memories of her birth and it struck me that I could use these cards and film my nan. She remembers so many things about my childhood and my mother’s and I would hate to think that soon she will forget all this so I want to capture it so I can keep it forever.

If you know of any other effective ways to talk to people with dementia, please comment below as this is something so close to my heart and I imagine it’s the same for so many of my readers too.

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  • Clare B

    3rd April 2016 at 10:25 pm

    I've no personal experience with dementia (yet) but have an interest in it since seeing the documentary Dementiaville. If you haven't seen it then I recommend it. They focus on surrounding the people in their care with things that remind them of their past and encouraging them to talk about their memories rather than dwelling on the things they can't remember. So I think it would be of help to you.

  • Anonymous

    6th April 2016 at 3:16 pm

    the more we know the more we understand , the more we understand the more help we can give, Thanks

  • 6 Things I've Learnt About Caring: Advice To New Carers – Single Parent Pessimist

    29th March 2021 at 11:29 am

    […] them engaged with conversation as much as possible to help stimulate their mind. I have tried out Conversation Cards with my nan, which are designed to encourage people to talk to older people and the questions […]

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