1.1: Explain how different forms of dementia may affect the way an individual communicates:
Forms of dementia are all different therefore the individuals will be affected in different ways when it comes to communication, for example; one individual may find it difficult to express their words where as another individual may speak more fluently but their sentences not make any sense.
The individual depending on what type of dementia and how far into the stage they are may find other ways communicating such as; using body language, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact and tone of voice.
1.2: Explain how physical and mental health factors may need to be considered when communicating with an individual who has dementia:
Physical and mental health factors will also need to be considered when communicating with someone who has dementia, for example somebody who is deaf and has hearing aids will need to make sure that the carer has put the hearing aids in correctly, that they are switched on and turned right up. The carer will also need to speak in a loud and clear tone of voice to able the individual to communicate more easily. The carer will need to make sure the individual has their glasses on if they wear any so that the carer can keep direct eye contact with the individual so the communication is better. For physical health factors the carer will need to consider that the individuals may be in pain or have discomfort which will more than likely affect their communication.
1.3: Describe how to support different communication abilities and needs of an individual with dementia who has a sensory impairment:
People with dementia may need extra support with different types of communication abilities when it comes to sensory impairment, for example;
People with dementia may experience several changes in visual abilities, for example they may lose their ability to grasp visual images although there is nothing physically wrong with their eyes. People with dementia may no longer be able to understand what they see exactly due to changes in their brain. The carer could support the individual by;
Marking the edges of steps with brightly coloured strips of tape. Place brightly coloured signs or simple pictures on important rooms such as the bathroom for easier identification.
A loss or decrease in smell usually occurs with people with dementia. The carer could support the individual by;
Having good quality smoke alarms and to check them frequently as the individual may not smell the smoke. Also keep the fridges clean and tidy.
People with dementia may suffer from loss of touch and may not be able to tell someone when something is too hot or too cold or even when they are in pain or discomfort. The carer could support the individual by;
Adjusting the water heaters to the correct temperature so it isn’t possible to scald anyone. Colour coding the water taps; blue for cold, red for hot.
Placing signs on electricals and to have supervision with the individual when they need to use them. Removing furniture that is hazardous or putting cushions on the corners to keep them padded.
People with dementia may lose taste sensitivity which could lead them to putting anything and everything in their mouths, also it could stop them from wanting to eat. The carer could support the individual by;
Remove/lock up medicine cabinet items such as tooth paste, hairspray, body washes/soaps. To have a child proof lock on the fridge if necessary.
Keep items such as salt, sugar or spices away from reach in case of the resident eating too much of it.
People with dementia may have normal hearing but may struggle with understanding what someone is trying to say. This may result in confusion or over-stimulation. The carer could support the individual by;
Avoiding loud noises in the home such as the radio or TV being too loud. Avoid large gatherings in the home if the person with dementia shows signs of agitation or distress in crowds.
1.4: Describe the impact the behaviours of carers and others may have on an individual with dementia:
People with dementia can display certain behaviours which can be seen by others as inappropriate or unacceptable such as shouting, excessive screaming, insultive and inappropriate touching. What the carers and other should see this as is this is part of the individual’s dementia and handled in a polite manner, this isn’t the individual’s personal behaviour it is part of their condition.
Shouting at a dementia resident because they are screaming will just make the resident worse as it can cause further distress and confusion to them. By not paying attention to the resident when they make a request can leave the resident feeling like a burden to the system. Somebody with dementia could forget when they need the toilet or even where the toilet is and with a carer or others blaming the individual for continence issues this can make the individual feel sad and ashamed.
Carers however should encourage and reassure the individuals. People with dementia should also be encouraged to take part in their daily routines if they are able to do so as this will help the individual to feel useful and helpful and involved. Carers who do everything and don’t allow the residents to get involved can leave the residents feeling useless and like a burden too.
Be able to use positive interaction approaches with individuals’ with dementia:
4.1: Explain the difference between reality orientation approach to interactions and a validation approach:
Reality orientation and validation approaches are quite different as reality orientation is all about here and now, meaning the time of day, where they are and what they are doing, where as the validation approach is when the carer would accept and take on board what the individual is saying but to not correct them when they are wrong as in the approach the carer is focusing more on the indivdual’s feelings rather that the content of speech.
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Topic: Interaction and Communication
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