Dementia Patients Communication Skills Essay

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Effective Communication Strategies for Health Care Professionals in Dementia Units
For health care professionals (HCP) communicating with dementia patients can be challenging in most health settings. Dementia is a degenerative disease that causes a decline in cognitive and functional abilities, as the condition progresses the ability to communicate worsens (Kilgore, 2015). HCP employed within dementia units require an individual approach when communicating with patients, as people with dementia (PWD) can become easily disorientated and confused (Kilgore, 2015). Nonverbal communication such as listening can uncover underlying problems with patients’ health. Whereas, verbal communication is the application of language, such as tone and simple …show more content…

It is reported that 50% of people over the age of 65 experience some form of discomfort or chronic pain (Jones & Mitchell, 2015). For dementia patients’ pain is experienced at a unique level for those unable to effectively communicate could be perceived as behavioural distress (Jones & Mitchell, 2015). Recognising minute verbal or non-verbal cues of dementia patients requires the ability to listen to their tone of voice for disruption of flow in conversation, or figurative speech which may indicate concerns or needs of the patient (McEvoy & Plant, 2014). It is important to recognise these disparities could suggest illness, stress or further deterioration to the person’s cognitive condition (Kilgore, 2015). Furthermore, trying to understand the meaning behind unusual statements, such as patients asking for parents is a form of wanting reassurance (Kilgore, 2015). They may ask to go home when they are home, this is a sign of fear and people resort back to what they would do when they were afraid, indication further deterioration (Kilgore, 2015). Being able to listen to the changes in story or emotional tone can have a positive outcome, leading to effective intervention of health care services (Kilgore, 2015). Recognition of deterioration in a patient allows HCP to respond appropriately treat and prevent any detrimental …show more content…

Due to dementia patients deteriorating of cognitive function, this may have an effect on whether or not a message is successfully understood (Downs & Collins, 2015). Communication is an extremely important part of caring for people with dementia, for this reason ensuring information is delivered efficiently and meaningfully it is imperative for HCP to develop tailored approaches (Downs & Collins, 2015; Kilgore, 2015). Such methods that can improve communication with dementia patients are reduce rate of speech with verbatim repetition with the use of simple sentences (de Vries, 2013). Additionally, allowing the person time to process and respond to what has articulated (de Vries, 2013). When talking to a PWD, talk in a clear voice and allow them time to respond (McEvoy & Plant, 2014). Closed questions may possibly be used to facilitate the completion of daily activities whereas, open ended questions can lead to conversations (de Vries, 2013; Kilgore, 2015). It has been assessed when verbally communicating to people with dementia using a tone that exerts control or infantilising communication also known as ‘elder speak’ results in the patient becoming resistant to care (de Vries, 2013). Through improving interactions with HCP, communication skills can have significance on improving the quality of life and well-being for those living with dementia (McEvoy & Plant, 2014). Being

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