Unrecognizable grandmother and her granddaughter holding hands.

How to Start a Conversation with Someone Living with Dementia?

Caring for a loved one with dementia? Read on to find out how to communicate with them more effectively. As a caregiver for a dementia individual, you may find yourself getting frustrated and angry at your loved ones at times. You might also feel at loss on how to engage them in a conversation. Here are some ways you can interact with them more effectively using everyday tools like food and music. 

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a cognitive disease that results in the decline of cognitive abilities – memory and thinking skills. Someone who is living with dementia brain cells are dying gradually and they have lost the ability to learn new things. The only way to reduce cognitive decline is to reinforce skills or memories that dementia patients are familiar with.

Conversation Starter: For People Living with Dementia

To interact with someone living with dementia, you should appeal to their 5 senses – sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell. You can use tools like old photographs, favourite food or songs to help stimulate their memories. This will help bring back memories for them. Engage your loved one by asking simple questions about the item and have a conversation with them.

Dementia Tools You Can Use!

The key to communicating and engaging with your loved one is to get them to reminisce and talk about the past.

Old Photographs 

Engage with your loved ones in a conversation about the past using old photographs. You can ask them if they remember this set of location, who did they go with and what did they do there.


Play some songs your loved one likes. Music is a great intervention for a person living with dementia as it helps to prevent the further deterioration of their cognitive abilities. You can engage them with questions like where did they hear the song from, and what does it remind them of.


If your loved ones like to cook, you can give them ingredients of their favourite recipes. Start the conversation with your loved one by asking them the process of cooking using the ingredients that you have given them. Get them to teach you how to cook their favourite recipes.

SilverCare Toys

Silvercare toys are designed for older adults with dementia. They are great activities to engage with your loved ones. You can try toys like puzzles, pokers cards and bowling pins. You can find out more about silvercare toys at Kydz International website.

4 Tips for Caregivers: 

  1. Stay calm and cool when interacting with someone living with dementia.
  2. Try to step into their shoes and understand from their point of view. Be patient with them.  
  3. Speak in shorter sentences. Give concise information instead of rambling on. 
  4. Do not bombard your loved one with dementia with loads of information and questions.

About Jaga-Me

Jaga-Me is an award-winning home care service provider. If you need quality care for your loved ones, we have trained professionals that will help you take care of your loved one. With Jaga-Me, you can have a worry-free day or a good night’s rest. To find out more about respite care for your loved ones, you can visit our services page here. If you want to read more about how to interact effectively with your loved one, you can click here

Award winning Home Care trusted by health professionals – Jaga-Me

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