Alzheimer’s: Tips for Communicating Thoughtfully

Communicating with a person with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia requires patience and understanding.

Individuals with dementia have more difficulty expressing thoughts and emotions. They also have more trouble understanding others.

The Alzheimer’s Association® provides tips and techniques that can be used to help a person with Alzheimer’s communicate more effectively.

  • Be patient and supportive.
 Caregivers can let the person know they’re listening; they care about what is being said and are trying to understand. Keep interruptions to a minimum.
  • Offer comfort and reassurance.
 If a person with Alzheimer’s is having trouble communicating, it can be helpful to let the person that it’s okay and encourage him or her to continue speaking.
  • Encourage unspoken communication. 
If the person’s speech is unclear, ask the person to point or gesture.

To learn more about dementia and improving communication, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800.292.3900 or visit alz.org.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.