Communication Tips and Activities for a Child to do with their Loved One with Dementia

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be confusing for everyone involved-but a child might have more questions as to what is happening. The following are tips that all families can use when communicating with a loved one with dementia, as well as activities that children can engage in with their loved one.



The National Institute on Aging recommends the following communication tips:



  • Identify yourself and always approach from the front.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Use short, simple sentences and speak slowly.
  • Keep tone of voice low and pleasant.
  • Make sure facial expressions are warm and friendly, and use non-verbal cues.
  • Give time for your loved one to respond to your question.
  • Always repeat your question exactly the same way.
  • Do not say, “Don’t you remember?” Don’t try to test your loved one’s memory.
  • Give directions simply and one at a time.
  • When helping with personal care, tell your loved one what you are doing each step of the way.
  • Keep calm. Your loved one can become tense and agitated if you are rushed or stressed.



These communication tips can be used by children and adults when communicating with a loved one. Keeping these communication tips in mind, children can spend time with their loved one by engaging in activities. Here are 10 activities that the Alzheimer’s Association recommends:



  • Take a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Put a puzzle together.
  • Color or draw pictures.
  • Create a scrapbook or memory box with mementos.
  • Read a favorite book or story.
  • Bake cookies.
  • Listen to or sing old songs.
  • Weed a garden or plant flowers.
  • Eat a picnic lunch outside.
  • Watch your favorite TV show together.






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