Receptive Language

Receptive language is our ability to understand information that is being taken in. This is important as it allows the person to be able to understand the meaning of what is being said to them, and what they read as well as to understand numbers, words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. For example, listening to parts of this presentation, and reading the notes that go with it – that’s ‘receptive language’. 

Dementia may impact the person’s ability to understand language so that they may have trouble making sense of what is said to them and what they read. Certain situations can make understanding even more difficult for the participant. For example:

  • When others speak quickly
  • During a conversation when more than one person is speaking
  • When long or complex sentences are used
  • When more than one direction is given at a time
  • When a pronoun is used instead of the actual name of the person or object being referred to
  • When figurative speech, idioms, sayings, or abstract concepts are used
  • When the participant must interpret what is being said