20 Things to NOT Say to a Person with Dementia

I’m sharing a post by Kay Bransford, whose blog I follow, who has posted the 20 things not to say to someone with dementia, compiled by Kate Swaffer who has been diagnosed with dementia. It’s an excellent list and Kay has added some well-chosen points of her own.

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

  1. It took me a very long time to learn and understand that when mum would tell me something or ask the same question for the 29th time in one afternoon that I couldn’t say to her “for gods sake mum you’ve already said that etc” I was getting really upset and mum couldn’t understand why I was so upset and it took my husband about a year to finally make me see what it was doing to mum and make me understand that she actually had no idea that she’d already asked the question or told me something. Sometimes it takes someone who doesn’t visit so often as me , who was there all the time, and husband, just only when his job would allow, which was about once or twice a month if we were lucky. Once I learned and understood what was happening, visits became so much easier for both of us and much more enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments, Ruth. I’m guessing most of us took a while to learn not to say things like that. It took me ages to realise asking ‘do you remember?’ was not a good thing to do.

      Liked by 1 person

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