Principle 2 – “Communication is straightforward, appropriate and timely, and is delivered sensitively, taking account of the circumstances, needs and abilities of the person and their carers. Communication reflects an understanding of and respect for, the person’s cultural and spiritual needs.”

You must ensure that any and all ways of communication are appropriate to the circumstances and needs of the person, which may mean that the methods you use are tailored to each individual. Remember, that what seems right for one person may not be the same for somebody else. Examples of times when you may need to adapt the way you communicate include if the person has a reduced cognitive state, for example, if they have dementia or a learning disability, or are in a frame of mind which is not conducive to normal communication.

When working you need to make sure that you remember that communication is not only verbal but non-verbal as well. Make sure your body language never gives off a negative feeling, as this can cause anxiety and distress to the person, which is the last thing they will need to be dealing with, given the sensitivity of their situation.