Herstmonceux Integrative Health Centre

Hailsham Road, Herstmonceux, East Sussex, BN27 4JX

Telephone: 01323 833535


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Encouraging someone with dementia to communicate

Try to start conversations with the person you’re looking after, especially if you notice that they’re starting fewer conversations themselves. It can help to:

  • speak clearly and slowly, using short sentences
  • make eye contact with the person when they’re talking or asking questions
  • give them time to respond, because they may feel pressured if you try to speed up their answers
  • encourage them to join in conversations with others, where possible
  • let them speak for themselves during discussions about their welfare or health issues
  • try not to patronise them, or ridicule what they say
  • acknowledge what they have said, even if they do not answer your question, or what they say seems out of context – show that you’ve heard them and encourage them to say more about their answer
  • give them simple choices – avoid creating complicated choices or options for them
  • use other ways to communicate – such as rephrasing questions because they cannot answer in the way they used to

The Alzheimer’s Society  and has lots of information that can help, including details on the progression of dementia and communicating.


All the staff at the Health Centre have responded to the Governments campaign for a million people to become Dementia Friends and have either completed online training or attended a course to become a Dementia Friend. At the Health Centre we are committed to making the Patients experience as positive as possible.

A Dementia Friend is somebody that learns about dementia to help their community by raising awareness and understanding Dementia to help enable people living with dementia to continue to live in the way they want.

Further information can be found at Dementia Friends Website