Having a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease can be very difficult for everyone involved. While there are memory care options available to help preserve and strengthen your loved one's memory and cognitive abilities, there is unfortunately no cure for this disease. Moving forward, your conversations and communications with your loved one will likely change, and these changes can be challenging. By keeping a few tips in mind for communicating with someone who has Alzheimer's, you can make the experience as enjoyable as possible for both sides.
Avoid Correcting or Criticizing
Sometimes, a person with Alzheimer's will say something that is obviously untrue or even something hurtful that they don't mean. This is, sadly, part of the disease and its ability to affect the cognitive functions of the brain. If a loved one says something you don't agree with or that is false, correcting or arguing isn't going to improve the situation. In fact, it is only likely to make things worse, so your best course of action is to let it go and change the subject.
Don't Interrupt or Finish Their Sentences
Being interrupted or having words put in one's mouth can be frustrating, but this is especially true for a person with Alzheimer's. If your loved one seems to be struggling to finish a thought, give them some time to think about what to say. Wait until they ask for assistance to interject with your own thoughts.
Try to Minimize Distractions
Even having the television on with low volume in the background can be enough to distract somebody with Alzheimer's who is trying to communicate, so make efforts to eliminate distractions during your conversation as much as possible. Keep in mind that one-on-one conversations tend to be best for those with Alzheimer's, and being in a group setting can be very overwhelming.
Don't Underestimate the Power of the Written Word
When all else fails, sometimes jotting down a note to your loved one will be a better means of communicating than speaking face-to-face. Keep a note pad nearby as you spend time with a loved one who has Alzheimer's, and allow them to make notes if desired. Often times, people with Alzheimer's are able to formulate their thoughts better via writing.
Keep these tips in mind as you prepare to have a conversation with a loved one who has Alzheimer's. With a bit of preparation and patience, it can be a great experience for you both.Share
4 October 2017
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