To gain knowledge about how the original culture may influence communication and interaction with institutionalised patients with dementia and of what particular cultural aspects may come to the fore, exemplified by Sami patients.
Qualitative narrative interviews with 15 interviewees, family members of Sami patients with dementia and nursing staff experienced with dementia care were conducted. Hermeneutic, thematic analysis was used.
Although the way dementia influence mental functions, language, etc. is universal, behaviours, reactions and responses may be coloured by the patient's background culture. Knowledge of language, cultural codes and the patient's former life are primary keys to understanding. Rhythm of life, spirituality, singing and tangible aspects of traditional culture like clothes and food constitute important aspects of culture-appropriate care.