Domestic helpers can be caregivers to share the load of caring for people with dementia. It’s important that domestic helpers know their role as a caregiver and learn how to communicate with the employer with dementia.
Download the “Tips for Domestic Helpers” leaflet
Why is there a need to understand dementia?
People with dementia have difficulties communicating due to a decline in memory, cognitive function, expression and social skills. Understanding dementia will help the domestic helpers to:
- Reduce misunderstandings with the person with dementia
- Facilitate communication with the person with dementia
- Provide better care
- Relieve care pressure and difficulties
The Roles of Domestic Helper
Provide Basic Care
Take care of emotional and psychological needs
How should helpers communicate with the people with dementia?
- Introduce yourself
- Address him/her by name
- Use simple words and short sentence
- Speak clearly, slowly and calmly in simple and easy words and sentences
- Talk about what he/she is familiar with, such as where you are, people or the weather
- Ask questions that only need a “yes or no” answer
- Let him/her take time to answer, and respond encouragingly with a smile or praise
- Be patient and listen
- Guess what he/she really means if the words are vague
- Give orders
- Treat them like a child
- Argue with them
- Speak loudly
- Refer to things and locations vaguely as “those” or “that”
- Leave them alone
- Try to reason with him/her
- Tell them they have forgotten, e.g. “I’ve just mentioned……”
- Challenge their short term memory, e.g. “Can you remember……”
- Criticise their response
- Talk in a noisy place
Who can help?
Tell the employer what difficulties you are facing in providing the care, and seek his/her support to resolve the issues.
JCCPA offers regular Domestic Helpers Training to enhance their knowledge and skills in caring for people with dementia.