MAR 04 2022

Tip of the Month - March 2022- Supports for Dementia

WHY use visual communication supports?

Individuals with dementia benefit from visual support systems in order to help them understand language and events around them, remember information and express themselves. Visual supports such as memory books have a huge wealth of evidence and research behind them. 

WHAT are visual communication supports

There are many different types of visual systems which may help.  It is important to remember that all learning is difficult for a person with dementia, so any type of visual system we put in place must be functional and useful and must be used every day.

Continuum lines – a scale to indicate how someone is feeling or the complexity of a task.  You ask them a question and then they can point to a place on the line to show how they feel about that question.
Shopping List – this could be handwritten or printed pictures. You could laminate a visual shopping list and mark what is needed with a whiteboard marker and wipe the marks off once they have been put into the trolley. 

Identification Cards - to be stored in a pocket, wallet or on a lanyard with personal or emergency information

Small objects as visual reminders – place objects around the home as reminders to complete tasks.  Labels and signs - on doors or objects, e.g., place a label and photo on each door in a residential ward or labels on the linen cupboard shelves to sort towels, sheets, etc. Whiteboard to write lists or instructions, which can be referred back to while completing a task or activity. 
Daily Planner – this can be on paper or using a calendar or app
Menu boards – you could use Velcro or BluTak to change the date and food options each day
Phone lists or visual phones
Choosing boards. These can be made for specific situations such as a café