Sunday, 19 October 2014

Communicating - what helps?

I’ve been trying to think about the things that helped me, more than a decade ago, when Mum began to be noticeably affected by dementia.

So I dug out my large and ancient dementia folder. One of the first things I found was a double sided sheet - Compassionate Communication with a Person with Dementia.

I was surprised to find multiple copies - I obviously liked it a lot and meant to give it to others.

I was even more surprised to find a laminated version.
Then I remembered - that was the one I kept by the phone. At that stage Mum was still living independently. Often there would be three or four phone calls each day. Sometimes more. 

I had to learn to be patient, positive and reassuring when she was angry, confused and despairing. And with the memory loss that she wouldn't or couldn't acknowledge, at times things got pretty tricky.
  • Don't remind them they forgot
  • Don't question recent memory
  • Don't take it personally
It’s like learning a whole new way of communicating. The advice in the Compassionate Communication tipsheet became my mantra.

My version of the tipsheet had no credit on it. So today I searched under the title and up it popped:

My belated and grateful thanks to the author, Liz Ayres, described on the tipsheet as an Alzheimers Association volunteer and former caregiver.


  1. The tip sheet looks great - can't wait to try it out. Thnx

  2. What a useful tip sheet! Handy for everyone who knows somebody with memory problems - not just children of those with Alzheimers but carers, grandchildren, friends, doctors and nurses.