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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsIn order to promote the well-being of many people with dementia, it is usually best to avoid correcting their mistakes and thinking errors unless absolutely necessary. Indeed, it's usually best to go along with an understanding of reality as long it does not put them or someone else at risk. Avoiding unnecessary confrontation is a golden rule of communicating with people with dementia. All too often, carers create unnecessary conflict by trying to get the person with dementia to accept he or she is wrong and that the person needs to face up to the truth. Such an approach is futile as the person with dementia no longer has the brain cells to enable them to update their reality.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 secondsHow would you react towards me if I continually told you that you were wrong and that you should only accept my version of events?

Avoiding confrontation

In this video Ian introduces ‘avoiding confrontation’ as a golden rule of communicating with people with dementia. If a person has a different reality to our own, it may be futile to try to redirect them to our reality.

At the end he asks:

‘How would you feel if somebody continually told you that you were wrong?’

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Dementia Care: Staying Connected and Living Well

Newcastle University

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