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Memory Loss in a Loved One with Alzheimers: How to Respond

Watching a loved one endure the phases of Alzheimers Disease can be heartbreaking. It is difficult to know how to respond or react, and the last thing a caregiver wants to do is upset their loved one. This uncertainty, stress, and confusion is completely normal. It takes practice, patience, insight, and support to understand how to respond to and care for a loved one with Alzheimers.

Understanding What Alzheimers Disease Does to People

Alzheimers is a progressive disease”that means it worsens with time. It destroys the memory of a person while also wreaking havoc on their other important mental functions. As the disease progresses, your loved one will need more time, support, understanding, and care as the symptoms increase in severity. When your loved one shows signs of Alzheimers, dementia, or any other progressive neurological condition, it is important to get help early from your loved ones doctor, medical care team, and possibly enlist the help of a home healthcare service to ease the burden of care.

The Dos and Donts of the Disease

When communicating with a loved one suffering from Alzheimers, there are some approaches that are favoured over others. At the same time, there are some actions or approaches that are not recommended. Dealing with someone with Alzheimers is a challenge, but you can find a positive connection when you take a healthy approach and try not to take it personally if your loved one doesnt react as you have hoped.

  • THE DOS

    • Offer short explanations for things using a single sentence.
    • Allow lots of time for your loved one to comprehend whats going on.
    • Always repeat instructions the exact same
    • Enter into the patients reality: agree or distract but dont disagree or insist on anything that the patient does not like.
    • Respond to the feelings they express instead of the words they say.
    • Swap the word but for nevertheless.
  • THE DONTS

    • Never attempt to reason with the person suffering from Alzheimers.
    • Dont argue with them under any circumstances.
    • Try not to confront them about any potentially sensitive matters.
    • Be sure not to question any recent memory theyve shared.
    • Dont take any negative sentiments personally.

Keeping the Right Things in Mind

Since your loved ones brain is not functioning properly, it will be your responsibility to keep his or her best interest in mind. Try to remember that none of this is your fault that you cant do anything to stop whats happening. Seeing your loved one decline despite your best efforts is frustrating, but the final years and moments that you share together dont have to be defined by tension and frustration. Focus on the positive and root yourself in compassion and understanding.

If you have any further questions about helping a loved one with Alzheimers Qualicare Family Homecare is on your side. Give us a call at 613.366.2899.

 

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