A simple way to overcome dementia communication barriers
January 10, 2018
Clifden House is keen to share its advice and successes in caring for people with dementia. Our January top tip for anyone caring for someone with dementia is to use a simple but very effective communication aid.
We have implemented the use of simple but very effective aids for its residents. These are called ‘Communication Cards’.
Communication Cards are pictorial representations of common emotions and needs, and have proven to be an exceptionally useful mechanism for residents – allowing dementia sufferers to quickly and easily express themselves clearly.
A person with dementia can often have difficulty communicating. They can struggle to find the right words and frequently repeat words or become stuck on a certain syllable. This can be very frustrating and often distressing for dementia sufferers.‘I feel’ expressions are the first set of communication cards and includes faces and words to describe how they are feeling. Examples of emotions on the cards include worried, excited, sad and cross.
Nial Joyce of Clifden House said: “Members of staff at Clifden House carry communication cards with them. They find them useful for engaging with residents and help overcome communication difficulties.
“It is important for us to understand how residents are feeling and these cards are a great help. They allow us to give a more focused standard of care and help to minimise misunderstandings and potential frustration for the resident.”
Communication Cards are also very handy to use alongside everyday conversation to keep residents aware of how they are feeling and to let them know that it’s normal for them to have trouble communicating.
There are many free communication resources available online or, like Clifden House, you can purchase communication cards from www.theplaydoctors.co.uk.