Weitzel et al. (2011) state that brain problems associated with dementia affect communicative skills on both receptive and expressive levels. Therefore, there is a need to perform a communication technique that would negate these obstacles making it much easier to communicate with a person with dementia.
Communication techniques proposed in this research are described as easy to perform for any caregiver, which significantly improves techniques’ effectiveness. There is a great variety of techniques. For example, approach directly, use full name, respect personal space, and so on. The techniques, however, seem to be parts of a whole methodology that is focused on working with patients with dementia. Thus, these techniques provide precise guidelines for caretakers to make it possible to cooperate with any patient. Moreover, these techniques are focused on making it easier for a patient to adapt and to reacquire their communicative skills even if just a little bit.
The Most Promising Technique
It seems that most of these techniques are equally important, so it would be hard to state that any particular technique is better. However, the one that appears to be the most efficient – at least communication-wise – is “listen closely.” This technique is focused not on trying to convey a message for a patient to receive. Rather, the purpose is to try to understand what the patient has to say. Maybe it is a complaint or maybe something simple. Despite the nature of what the patient is trying to say, it is crucial to listen to their needs as it takes no effort to upset patients with dementia in one way or another. Thus, this technique seems to be the most promising in various terms.
Weitzel, T., Robinson, S., Mercer, S., Berry, T., Barnes, M., Plunkett, D., … Kirkbride, G. (2011). Pilot testing an educational intervention to improve communication with patients with dementia. Journal of Nurses in Staff Development, 27(5), 220-226.