It may sometimes be a bit intimidating to know what to mention and how to behave when spending some time with a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. And, sadly, due to a number of inherent elements of the disease, oftentimes family and friends feel so uncomfortable that they avoid going to see the person anymore. Understanding more information on the disease and things to anticipate, and planning ahead about how to best manage challenging behaviors can help.
The chief difficulties family caregivers and friends encounter with their loved one with Alzheimer’s disease fall into one of three categories: changes in behavior, changes in memory and communication ability; and the level of difficulty will probably fluctuate based on the particular stage of the disease the senior is currently experiencing.
To help overcome these challenges while making the visit as enjoyable as you can, Home Matters’s Alzheimer’s care professionals recommend the following approach:
- Begin your visit with a smile, and be prepared to re-introduce yourself if needed.
- Use very simple language and brief sentences, and talk slowly.
- Refrain from arguing with or correcting the senior.
- Bring photos from a favorite past memory for reminiscing.
- Listen to a number of the person’s favorite tunes together, and maybe even ask him or her to dance!
- Taking a walk together if at all possible, or just about any other physical exercise, can make the visit more fun for both of you.
- Remain calm during your visit, even when the senior gets agitated or exhibits inappropriate behavior.
- Keep a sense of respect during your conversation, understanding the senior may repeat questions and statements.
- Reduce distractions in order to give the person your full attention.
- Above all, bear in mind who the individual was pre-dementia, and remind the person what she or he did which has inspired you or helped you become the person that you are today.
For additional tips on effective communications with those with Alzheimer’s disease, or for specialized hands-on care assistance, contact us at Home Matters. Our skilled caregivers are fully trained and experienced in a number of tactics to make sure seniors with Alzheimer’s disease remain secure and safe and are able to live life to the fullest, with the utmost respect and compassion all of the time.