For some people with dementia, conversation is not possible.
Their illness has affected the parts of the brain that control language, making it difficult or impossible for them to speak or understand what other people say.
It can feel very difficult to interact with a person who can’t speak, but sometimes just being there can help.
Small things like holding hands, sharing a hug or sitting together listening to music can be special, both for you and your relative.
This information was updated in November 2019 and is due for review in November 2021. Please contact us if you would like a version with references.