What is it about?

In healthcare it is important to communicate clearly so that patients can make informed decisions about their treatment and management. There are lots of different guidelines that aim to help healthcare professionals communicate clearly with people with dementia. Unfortunately, these guidelines and related research often contradict each other. Therefore, professionals should be wary of blindly following generalised communication advice and should adapt communication to the individual based on their communication competency, verbal and non-verbal cues.

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Why is it important?

Consideration of communication with people with dementia is important. To maintain patient autonomy, a key ethical consideration in healthcare, communication must be clear and understood by all parties.

Perspectives

I enjoyed working on this piece. I am a paramedic and I feel that I may have fallen in to the trap of simply speaking more slowly and loudly to try and facilitate understanding. I probably patronised people. After researching and writing this article I am better informed and equipped to communicate with my patients. I hope that it helps others improve their communication too!

Robyn Painting

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This page is a summary of: Optimising communication for people with dementia, Journal of Paramedic Practice, May 2022, Mark Allen Group, DOI: 10.12968/jpar.2022.14.5.214.
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