‘Dementia and another language require tailor-made care’

‘Dementia and another language require tailor-made care’
‘Dementia and another language require tailor-made care’

El Kadiri says that many clients with dementia forget a second language. “They then turn to their mother tongue. To communicate with them, we use colleagues who speak the same language,” says El Kadiri. “In some cases, language no longer matters and is replaced by body language in the form of touches, facial expressions and certain soft tones.”

Non verbal

El Kadiri’s colleague and activity supervisor Tanja says that contact can be made without speaking the same language. “It’s good observation. You see the postures and way of looking of clients. By combining observations, you can pick up what they want,” says the activity supervisor.


“Every client needs something different. It is tailor-made,” says El Kadiri. Recognition appears to work well for the elderly, which is what they are constantly looking for in the Wereldhuis. “A man often needs a different approach than a woman, because of the lives they had before their dementia. This means you are constantly adapting,” says El Kadiri.

Bringing together

Speechmaker and political scientist Pieter Hilhorst enjoys seeing how Wereldhuis makes care personal. “I think there is a reluctance among many policymakers to put people with a certain background in the same house. Speaking the same language actually provides a safe feeling,” says Hilhorst. “I would say: let go of that reluctance.”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Dementia language require tailormade care


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