20 Things to NOT Say to a Person with Dementia

Mary Smith reblogged this very useful article on dementia posted by Kay Bransford. My mother had dementia in the last years of her life.. she was 94 so it was very late onset.. however these twenty things not to say to someone with any form of dementia is spot on.

Dealing with Dementia

20-things-not-to-say-to-aperson-with-dementia-updated-6june2014.jpgThis list comes from Kate Swaffer who after being diagnosed offers a fresh perspective on how to live beyond dementia rather than only die from it, and how family, friends and dementia care professionals can more positively support people post diagnosis to do this. She has lovingly challenged, advised, and counseled me quite a few times on my journey. We even launched a Q&A blog where we peppered each other with questions.

As a follow-up to my go-to strategies for family visits, I plucked a few key tips to consider and am listing my top ten:

  1. Don’t tell the person they are wrong.
  2. Don’t say “Remember when … “
  3. Don’t correct or challenge trivial things.
  4. Don’t assume they can’t understand you because they are silent.
  5. Don’t think they can’t communicate just because we can’t speak.
  6. Don’t talk about them to someone else in front of them.
  7. Don’t remind them of…

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7 thoughts on “20 Things to NOT Say to a Person with Dementia

  1. I would have loved something like this when dealing with my father, but I think I did my best to follow it anyway. I believed he was suffering from dementia; however, if I went to his doctor behind his back it would have been a betrayal. My husband and sister didn’t see it but they were not around him all the time and they just thought he was forgetful. A friend told me to write down everything I told Dad and then if he said he never heard it remind him of it in writing. I said I would never do that to him. He passed away from pneumonia never being treated for the dementia I always knew he had. But I believe that was the right decision. I was always able to deal with his lapses in a way that didn’t demean him.

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