Could negative behaviors by patients with dementia be positive communication? Seeking ways to understand and interpret their nonverbal communication

Huey Ming Tzeng, Glenn Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In interactions with caregivers, patients with dementia have communication challenges that are common and worrisome to families. Family and professional caregivers find it challenging to “guess” or “interpret” what their patients with dementia are trying to tell them. In this creative controversy article, we discuss how family and professional caregivers can seek to understand and correctly interpret the nonverbal communications of patients with dementia (behaviors, actions, facial expressions, and vocal sounds). Equipping family and professional caregivers with the resources to interpret the nonverbal communications of patients with dementia requires a commitment to in-service and family education in healthcare facilities. Nurses could play a critical role in raising the awareness among the public about the potential changes and declines in verbal communications of the patients with dementia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-322
Number of pages5
JournalNursing forum
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • caregiver education
  • dementia
  • in-service training
  • nonverbal pain communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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