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What those living with dementia want people to know

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Across the UK, 850,000 people are living with dementia - and soon, if predictions are correct, there will be a million.

Some of them, and their families, share their tips with BBC News for living with the condition, how to talk to people with dementia and how they have learned to adjust to their changing brains.

Tommy Dunne, who has Alzheimer's disease, says: "If someone said to me, 'How would you communicate with a person with dementia?', I'd say the first thing you want to do is talk to the person, not the dementia. The second thing you want to do is get down to the person's level - if the person is sitting on the couch, don't stand over them and talk down, get down to the person's level, maintain eye contact. Speak in short sentences. Don't ask multiple questions at once - you know like, 'Who, what, why, where and when?' all in the one question - because we can't process that."

Marion says: "[dementia]... affects my vision and my spatial awareness. I have yellow painted on the doorframes - and that helps me so I know where I am. Everything was painted white before - and if everything is white, for me, I don't know where the door stops and the wall starts. The colour yellow stands out very well."

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Source: BBC News. 13 October 2021

Read our hub interview with dementia leads at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust on keeping patients with dementia safe.

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