It can be just a little intimidating to understand what to say and just how to behave when spending time with a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. And, sadly, because of a few inherent symptoms of the disease, commonly family and friends feel so uncomfortable they avoid visiting with the person at all. Understanding more information on Alzheimer’s and things to anticipate, and preparing in advance about how to best manage challenging behaviors, often helps.
The main difficulties members of the family and friends encounter with their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease belong to one of three categories: changes in behavior, reduced memory, and communication ability; and the amount of difficulty will probably fluctuate in line with the particular stage of the disease the senior is currently experiencing.
Begin your visit with a smile, and be ready to re-introduce yourself when necessary.
Use simple language and brief sentences, and talk slowly.
Refrain from arguing with or correcting the senior.
Take along photos from a favorite past memory for reminiscing.
Listen to some of the person’s favorite music together, and ask her or him to dance if you’d like!
Taking a walk together if at all possible, or just about any other exercise, could make the visit more fulfilling for both of you.
Continue being calm during your visit, even when the senior becomes agitated or exhibits inappropriate behavior.
Maintain a sense of respect throughout your conversation, understanding the person may repeat questions and statements.
Decrease distractions to give the individual your full attention.
Above all, bear in mind who the person was pre-dementia, and remind the individual what she or he has done that has inspired you or helped you grow into the individual you are today.
For additional advice on effective communications with people that have Alzheimer’s disease, or for specialized hands-on dementia home care assistance, contact the Alzheimer’s care team at Atlanta Home Care Partners. Our knowledgeable dementia caregivers are fully trained and experienced in a variety of tactics to ensure seniors with Alzheimer’s disease remain secure and safe and therefore are in a position to live life to the fullest, with the utmost respect and compassion all the time.