3 ways we can all help build a dementia-friendly community
We can all play a part in improving the day-to-day experiences of people living with dementia, helping them to be more confident, active and integrated in the community.
This Dementia Awareness Month, Australia is talking about how small actions make a big difference in the lives of people living with dementia.
Dementia is a collection of symptoms that affect thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Most often, this causes confusion or memory loss.
Being aware of dementia symptoms and knowing how to respond is the first step towards making the world more comfortable for people who are experiencing it.
Here are 3 easy ways we can all start making our communities more understanding and dementia-friendly:
Make eye contact
We all get busy doing our jobs and daily routines, but taking a minute to make eye contact before you start talking will help people with dementia.
Having eye contact will help reduce any confusion over who you are addressing. It can also help to focus their attention.
Be careful not to talk only to their carer or companion if they are with someone else. For people living with dementia, speaking to them directly helps them feel like they are active and included.
Keep it simple
When you’re talking, just stick to one idea or question at a time. Give the person time to respond before moving on.
Keeping questions shorter will help people understand and be able to respond. Think about asking in a way that encourages obvious answers (like yes/no) rather than open-ended questions that can be confusing or overwhelming.
Remember that people who have dementia may need a little more time to process information. Try not to start asking new questions while they are still thinking, or finishing their sentences for them.
It might take a little longer to communicate with a person with dementia, but the effects will be long-lived if that person can gain confidence for getting out and about.
Building dementia-friendly communities
Dementia Australia define dementia-friendly communities as a place where people living with dementia are supported to live a high quality of life with meaning, purpose and value.
There’s lots of ways we can support people who are living with dementia – see if your family, workplace or business can take the next step by:
If you or someone close to you could benefit from dementia-friendly home care services, please call the Silver Chain Care Team on (08) 9242 0119. Our staff are highly trained which means you can count on us to provide you with high quality home care and support services.