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Tips for serving customers with dementia

Here are tips for your staff when communicating with someone with dementia:

  • Certain behaviours are easier to understand if you suspect the person has dementia.
  • Genuine and calm reassurance will potentially bring about better outcomes. Communicate this with your tone of voice an body language.
  • Repeated questions may be an indication of increased stress or confusion. Be reassuring and validate their emotions.
  • Reminiscence and diversion may assist to calm someone down and establish feelings of security. Ask about their life history or distract with another point of focus.
  • Use their name if possible. It reminds them you know who they are and that a connection has been established.
  • Try not to react to what the person with dementia is saying. If possible be in the moment and connect with the person through acknowledging the insecurity felt.
Some other ideas to consider:

  • Sharing information with others in your staff if you have repeat instances of someone with dementia using your services.
  • Impact of the environment on people with dementia.  People with dementia work well in familiar and consistent environments and even minors changes to routine can cause anxiety and agitation.
  • Maybe designate somebody to learn about dementia so they are able to serve these customers better.

Last Updated: 11/08/2017