Communication and Care Partnering

Part 2: Communication and Dementia

Dementia creates distinct challenges in how people express themselves and understand what is being communicated to them.

Here is a conversation with speech language pathologist, Tammy Hopper. Tammy shares her expertise about verbal and non-verbal communication. 

The video will help you understand the communication challenges faced by people with dementia and why it’s important to adapt your communication style to meet their needs.


Key Points

People with dementia lose different communication abilities during the early, middle and late stages of the disease. As the illness progresses, they experience a gradual deterioration of their ability to express themselves clearly and understand what others say.  However, some form of communication remains possible at every stage of the disease.

The following communication changes are common among people with dementia:

  • Difficulty finding a word
  • Creating new words for ones that are forgotten
  • Repeating a word or phrase (perseveration)
  • Difficulty organizing words into logical sentences
  • Cursing or using other offensive language
  • Reverting a first language
  • Talking less than usual


More Learning Resources

Communication - Day to Day Series

Enhancing Communication: A By Us For Us Guide