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How To Improve Your Listening Skills

It is important to really listen to the individual who is in front of you. Oftentimes, we get in a hurry and this can cause us not to pay full attention to the people around us. For instance, hurrying can cause some agitation with someone who has dementia or with someone who has another type of memory impairment. This is just one of the many reasons why it is so important to really listen to one another. 

What Does It Mean To Really Listen?

You might think that you have listened to people when they are talking. However, do you find yourself arguing or interrupting? If so, you aren’t fully listening. If someone is telling you something, be supportive. Make sure to really listen to what they are saying and maintain eye contact. Pay attention to how they are feeling and not just the words they are saying. If you are truly listening, you will be doing all of these things. 

How To Improve Your Listening And Responding Skills

To improve your listening skills, not only will you follow the tips mentioned above, but you will focus on what someone is saying and not what you are thinking when they are talking. After they have spoken, you should reassure them in the moment and let them know you are listening. Allow plenty of time for processing and responding. Instead of quicking adding more information before they have had time to process or respond, let them say something after you have spoken. 

How Do Dementia And Other Memory Impairments Play A Role In Listening And Communicating?

It is important to know that those with dementia and other memory impairments have a tougher time making connections. They need more time to process and respond. If possible, don’t say no to someone with a memory impairment. This can make things much worse. People who have dementia and other memory impairments often have a tougher time reasoning. This will impact their ability to answer questions you have asked. It will also impact their ability to understand why you are telling them no. If you are truly listening to them, you can answer or respond to them without saying no. By avoiding saying no, you can greatly reduce their agitation, as well. 


Everyone wants people to listen to them. If you are talking to someone with dementia or another memory impairment, you must focus on your ability to listen to them and understand how they are feeling in the moment. If you don’t fully listen, the details might be fuzzy to them and even to you. 


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