Communication, dementia and the KISS Principle

kissOne magazine I subscribe to is Management Today, which I find not only interesting, but often discover many parallels between business and management when I think about the impact of dementia and the way in which people are currently cared for. The KISS principle – Keep It Simple Stupid, or Keep It Small and Simple – came to mind with one article!

A few weeks ago, Mark Held from Thinksalot Marketing talked about keep the message simple being the key to a successful advertising campaign. In a recent interview with, the award-winning Creative Director said that marketers need to find something interesting and truthful about the product or service they are marketing and deliver that message in the right tone of voice.

“You’re essentially telling a story,” he said. “So the story should always appeal to its audience and be delivered in the right tone of voice.”

“It’s about finding something interesting and truthful about the product or service, the giving it a pinch of wit and charm so it becomes more easily palatable to the people you are talking to.”

“Turning the page, minimising a window or changing the channel is instant, so you have to make sure whatever you’re preaching is worth listening to.”

So, thinking on from this, it is easy to see how all of these ideas can relate to improving care of people with dementia. The message to keep it simple, and the idea of making sure whatever you are asking the person with dementia to do, or what you are saying to them, is worthwhile, and worth listening to, is eminently sensible.

Mellissah Smith is Founder and Managing Director of Marketing Eye and has been in the industry for more than 20 years. She says the most important thing for any marketer is education.

“If marketers fail to keep informed on the latest in marketing techniques, chances are that their future marketing campaigns will not be as successful as they once were.”

The research clearly indicates one of the key things missing in good care, in both the acute and residential care setting for people with dementia, is appropriate education of the health care providers. Every other industry would fail without appropriate foundation and ongoing education…

Currently, the health care system is failing people with dementia, most likely due to a lack of education, and perhaps not enough of the KISS principle in the day to day care, basic things like maintaining dignity, and ensuring communication skills like tone of voice and messages are appropriately simple, and respectful.

4 thoughts on “Communication, dementia and the KISS Principle

  1. Hopefully as we continue to awaken our hearts and sensitivity begins to flood out we will make the time to embrace all beings and know exactly what each needs to be heard and accepted. I keep praying for this Kate. We are slowing inching our way there. Thanks for sharing. Good advice! Love and hugs…VK


  2. Hi Kate, I quite agree that more education about our need for the simple things in life is missing for carers of people living in aged care homes. There are so many simple thngs that could be done. These things are not expensive, and dont take much time or skill. For example: a walk outside in the morning to see the garden and to check on the weather; picking a flower for the person’s room and placing it so it can be seen from the bed; putting on favourite music while assisting a person to bathe and dress; discussing choice of clothing for the day – ok, that takes a little longer than just pulling something out – but it is something that should be done. I could go on……
    I love your blogs and look forward to reading them.


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