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Session 7 - Communication and Caregiving


Communication is a critical component of our life; it enables us to express who we are and allows us to relate to one another. When we communicate, we convey messages or exchange information to share needs, opinions, ideas, beliefs, feelings, emotions, experiences and values. Communication is more than talking and listening; it involves understanding and interpreting.

Information is conveyed in many ways:

  • Verbal: words we use and understand
  • Non-verbal: body language (facial expression, posture and gesture)
  • Written: words we read and write
  • Para-verbal: tone, pacing and volume of our voice

In this session, a speech language pathologist will help you understand the communication challenges faced by people with dementia and how this feels for them.  Practical skills to help you communicate more effectively with the person you are caring for will be shared.

Learning Objectives

When you have completed this session, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate how it feels to have difficulty with communication – understanding and being understood.
  • Understand how dementia affects the communication centres of the brain.
  • Recognize the importance of feelings and having empathy when communicating with people who have dementia.
  • Distinguish between verbal and non-verbal communication strategies that focus on the strengths of the person with dementia. 
  • Use validation as a technique for communicating with individuals who have dementia.
  • Identify community supports/resources for assistance in the future for help with communication issues.

Work through the various parts of the session at your leisure.  Move from one part to another at your own pace and in the order that makes sense to you, based on your own needs and interests.

Take time to visit the Discussion Forums, where you can post, in a common area, messages to all other community members. It’s a place for you to interact with others and to discuss the topics and ideas introduced throughout this session. 

At any time, you may scroll to the Search bar at the top of the page and type a specific question or topic.


  • Introduction

    You are here
  • Part 1 - Communication and the Brain

    Part 1
  • Part 2 - Communication and Dementia

    Part 2
  • Part 3 - Verbal vs Non-verbal Communication

    Part 3
  • Part 4 - Practical Communication Tips

    Part 4
  • Part 5 - Reflection and Next Steps

    Part 5
  • Summary


Other Sessions in Seeds of Hope - Family Learning Series

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18