Rethinking Communication guide to advanced dementia
10 connect. Through countless instances of such exchanges, infants come to understand how their behaviour relates to another person. They become more and more effective communicators because of the way we respond to them. In many ways, communication isn’t something that people do individually. It is something people create together. From infancy to dementia At this point you might be asking yourself, “So what does this have to do with dementia?” To explain, let’s imagine Jack. Jack is an 85-year-old man with advanced dementia, living as a resident in a care home. He is no longer mobile so he is confined to his bed for most of the day. He is also at a stage of the illness where he can no longer use speech as a means of communication. Jack doesn’t seem to listen or understand anything that is said to him, so the staff members have largely stopped trying to speak to him. It can be frustrating when they do try because they don’t seem to get much back from Jack. It’s become harder and harder to make sense of his behaviour.