Telephone calls with someone with dementia

At the moment, you may not be able to see your loved-one with dementia as often as you would usually.


There are lots of different ways you can communicate with others during the pandemic, however these might be too complicated for someone with the condition.

You may need to stick to an ‘old fashioned’ telephone call, so we’ve put together some top tips on speaking to your family member or friend on the telephone.

Find a quiet spot

It’s important not to have any distractions happening in the background of your conversation. Turn off TVs and radios and find a quiet spot in the house to talk to your loved-one.

Be positive

People with the condition often feed off body language, but this isn’t possible over the phone. Try to sound positive and up-beat when talking to your loved-one. This can help bring them some reassurance and brighten their mood.

Be clear and concise

You should speak slowly, clearly and in short sentences. Use simple and straightforward language.

Patience is key. Give your loved-one plenty of time to answer you. Try to avoid asking open-ended questions, as they can be a challenge to answer.

Too many conversation topics can be confusing for a person with dementia, so try to stick to one topic at a time.

Arrange your next call

To give your loved-one something to look forward to, make sure you arrange the date and time of your next call. They can add it to a diary or calendar.