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  • Includes a list of factors to be considered before making verbal contact with a patient including their social, cultural and personal backgrounds
  • Explains how to deal with a hostile reception when attempts at communication are made
  • Provides strategies for listening such as making sense of statements that seem confused and untrue

Effective communication plays a crucial role in all care giving, especially in the provision of care to people with dementia. This is not only because of the day-to-day communication problems that can be caused by dementia, but also because of the broader obligation to maintain the quality of life of those receiving care. This chapter presents strategies which will assist nurses to communicate better, especially with dementia patients.

Contents include

  • Strategies for better communication
    • Before making contact
    • Making an approach
    • Dealing with a hostile reception
    • Beginning individual communication
    • Working together
  • Strategies for listening
    • Active listening
    • Making sense of misnamings and verbal fragments
    • Making sense of statements that seem confused or untrue
  • Listening sympathetically to stories
  • Communicating to the very end
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Author / Editor Biographies

Dr Jane Crisp lectures in communication, media studies and women's studies. Her experiences with her own mother, who is now in an advanced stage of dementia, first suggested to her the possibility of drawing on her professional background to help people who are dementing and those who care for them. For the last five years Jane has been working on the language of people who are dementing and on strategies for making sense of this language. She has given talks on this work and had articles published both in Australia and overseas. During 1994 she spent six months in France, meeting and exchangi...

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