The best thing we can do is to treat everything the person says, however jumbled it may seem, as important and an attempt to tell us something

The person with cognitive impairment cannot change his or her communication; we must change ours

  • Give one-step directions
  • Speak slowly
  • Allow time for response
  • Reduce distractions
  • Don't have a lot of people talking
  • Give clues and cues (gestures, pantomime)
  • Speak as if to an equal
  • Search for meaning
  • Limit corrections
  • Recognize feelings and respond
  • Don't argue
  • Don't try to bring the person to the present. Go to where the person is and enjoy the conversation
  • Don't treat like a child
  • Stay pleasant and relaxed
  • Pay attention to non verbal (body posture, facial expressions)
  • Remember it's the quality, not the content or quantity, of the interaction that makes good communication


Tips for Eating Out

  • Choose a familiar restaurant
  • Go when it is least crowded
  • Sit in a quieter area with a minimum of distractions
  • Limit choices (discuss what you will order before you get there or even order ahead)
  • Order something that is fairly easy to eat and can ask the server to bring the meat cut if possible
  • Sit next to your partner and gently guide them
  • Try to have just one food item or plate at a time (e.g. salad first with just a fork, then dinner, desert)
  • Dine with friends/family who will enjoy being with you and understand your experience
  • Don't expect a 5 star 5 course formal dining experience -shorter is better and will lead to less frustration for all involved
  • Consider providing a 5 star 5 course experience in the comfort of your home with close friends and family (Order In)