Dementia Responsive

10 Tips to talking with someone with Dementia

  • Diminish Distractions​
  • Converse one-on-one​
  • In Groups ​
  • Keep things simple​
  • Avoid arguments​
  • Avoid open-ended questions​
  • Be patient​
  • Never say, “I’ve told you before”​
  • Do not contradict​
  • Be flexible to their world and reality​

Talk Tactic

  • Take it slow.​
  • Ask simple questions.​
  • Limit reality checks.​
  • Keep eye contact.​

Communications Recommendations

  • Speak calmly and clearly​
  • Make eye contact ​
  • Reduce background noise​
  • Redirect​
  • Use visuals for commands​
  • Listen​
  • Repeat​
  • Ask yes or no questions​
  • Watch for non-verbal cues​


  • 6 in 10 individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias will wander.​
  • ​Many cases end tragically if the individual is not found within 24 hours.​
  • Project Lifesaver – Personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal on an individually assigned FM radio frequency.​
  • ​In Alabama, Project Lifesaver has a 100% success rate.
  • Overall, Project Lifesaver has rescued over 3,400 individuals. ​
  • It takes an average of nine hours for law enforcement to locate an individual who has wandered.​
  • Project Lifesaver averages 15-30 minutes to locate an individual wearing a Project Lifesaver bracelet.​​

Sundowning: Late-Day Confusion

  • Sundowning refers to a state of confusion occurring in the later part of the afternoon and into the night. ​
  • Up to 1 out of 5 seniors with Alzheimer’s experience sundowning. ​
  • Experts are not sure why sundowning occurs, but several theories believe that causes could stem from exhaustion, hunger/thirst, depression, pain, boredom, sleep problems, disruption of “internal clock”, infections, and general confusion about surroundings.