(excerpted from chapter 1, page 8)

The Importance of Communication

Communication is essential to the following:

  • Meeting our individual needs for food and shelter
  • Fulfilling basic social and emotional needs
  • Meeting our need for self-actualization
  • Extending power and control over others
  • Providing information, praise and support
Persons with Alzheimer’s and related dementias exhibit deteriorating communication skills. As the disease progresses they experience declining ability in communicating and cannot get their emotional, physical and medical needs met.

However, this does not mean that they are incapable of communicating, incapable of essential and quality interaction, incapable of expressing needs and wants. For people with dementia it is important to understand that their communication can be...


The facilitation of communication comes from us. We can change the way we communicate with them on a daily basis. It is clear that people with dementia are definitely living longer and so we need to learn to communicate with them. They have a great deal to tell us and they can if we make the adjustments that will help them express their desires.

How to Communicate with Alzheimer’s - Susan Kohler How to Communicate with Alzheimer’s
Susan Kohler
April 2004
Spiral Bound
152 pages
$17.95/$23.95 Can.