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Do’s and Don’ts: Communicating With a Person Who Has Alzheimer's Disease

People with Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble finding the right words or remembering what they want to say. This can make communication difficult. Use the tips below to better communicate with a person who has Alzheimer’s.

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Do's and Don'ts: Communicating with a Person Who Has Alzheimer's Disease

People with Alzheimer's may struggle to find the right word when speaking and may forget what they were saying. Remember to be patient. Here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind.


  • Make eye contact and use the person's name.
  • Listen and be open to the person's concerns.
  • Allow extra time for the person to respond.
  • Try using different words if the person doesn't understand what you say the first time.
  • Ask yes or no questions: "Would you like some tea?" rather than "What would you like to drink?"


  • Exclude the person from conversations.
  • Speak with an angry or tense tone.
  • Talk about the person as if they are not there.
  • Interrupt or argue with the person.
  • Ask the person whether they remember something or someone.

Learn more about communication and behavior changes in Alzheimer's disease.

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