‘If I don’t remember you, please remind me that we meet in the crisp aisle. My brain sometimes forgets.”
This was the wonderful quote from my new Waitrose buddy who, as you may predict, I met in the crisp aisle. I was touched by his relaxed and amusing take on ageing, as well as his love for crisps!
It got me thinking that we need to communicate more as a society. Perhaps people wouldn’t become as lonely if we had spontaneous conversations with one another everywhere we went?
And that includes having conversations with people living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society predicts that 225,000 people will develop dementia this year, that is one person every three minutes!
So here are my top pixie tips for communicating with someone living with dementia:
- Don’t be scared to interact with individuals living with dementia, be mindful instead.
- Use people’s names when you interact with them, this is simple but effective.
- Make sure your body language matches what you are saying.
- Give a running commentary – talk out loud about what is happening around or to the person.
- Be flexible – what worked yesterday may not work today but may work again tomorrow.
- Pass on your positive experiences to others.
Let’s talk to each other more, sharing our experiences for the common good. And let’s spread the love!!
Follow Ellie on Twitter @EllieMcL