The DFC encourages all people, businesses, and social groups in the Port Macquarie area to become dementia friendly. For a small investment of your time you will help make a vast difference in the care and social integration of those living the dementia experience.
The Port Macquarie electorate has nearly 2,500 people living with Dementia, which is the 2nd highest prevalence rate in state electorates of Australia.
If you are concerned about someone and want to know more about the first signs of dementia go to: dementia.org.au
or phone The National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500
In the meantime losing the ability to communicate can be one of the most frustrating and difficult problems for people living with dementia, their families and carers. Here are some helpful tips, shared by people living with Dementia on how to improve communication.
- Before speaking, make sure you have their attention first. Try to be face to face with good eye contact where possible and stay still while you are talking.
- Avoid background noise where possible, and reduce visual distractions (eg turn off the TV or radio)
- Give us TIME to speak. Try not to finish our sentences. Just listen, and don’t let us feel embarrassed if we lose the thread of what we say. Resist the urge to finish our sentences.
- Speak to us as an adult, don’t talk down to us. Please use clear and familiar words, in a relaxed tone of voice and with positive body language. Focus on one idea at a time
- Speak positively, avoid arguments and confrontations. Try to give suggestions and not commands.
- Try not to ask direct questions that rely on memory. If you need to ask a few questions, make them clear and concise. Take the time to wait for the answer.
- It can be helpful to use orienting names whenever you can, such as “Your son James”
- When all else fails – you can SMILE!