Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be one of the most difficult challenges a person will ever encounter. The following tips can help smooth the experience:
- Don’t argue with the sufferer — agree with them even if it seems completely silly, and live in the reality of their moment.
- Don’t use logic or reason — Alzheimer’s suffers rarely respond well to logic. Find a diversion, or distraction, and focus on something they like.
- Don’t try to force — Offer suggestions and rewards.
- Don’t command — Ask them to help, and compliment their performance when they comply.
- Don’t say, “remember” — Asking an Alzheimer’s patient to “remember” often creates frustration. Simply reminisce about the old days. For instance, talk about how much fun you had on a trip.
- Don’t say, “I told you!” — Expect to repeat the answer to a question several times. Often you can turn it around and ask them the same question. For instance: “What time does my TV show come on?” Respond with “I’m not sure, what time does it usually come on?”
- Don’t let hurtful comments upset you — These are going to happen. Just calmly change the subject.
- Don’t be condescending — Encourage, praise, and reward. The smallest actions should be recognized.
- Don’t be negative — Be positive and reassure them of your love, your continued support and their safety.
- Don’t focus on the decline — Live in the moment, savor the time and the life that is still there.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or just need a shoulder to lean on. We’re here and we’re more than happy to share our experience or offer whatever assistance you need. Our good friends at Alzheimer’s Arkansas also offer a wealth of resources and support groups.