How to Approach a Loved One with Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's and Memory Care, Caregivers and Families

Monday, December 26, 2016 at 10:00:00 am Comments (0)

When visiting a loved one with Alzheimer's, family members are initially shocked when they are treated with indifference or worse, ignored. This is because as Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it steals away a loved one’s memory, sense of location, and time. Little by little, Alzheimer’s takes away a loved one’s life history one sentimental memory at a time.

When approaching, make sure you learn what is on your loved one's mind. You can't just bound into the room, greet him/her jovially and expect a "Am-I-glad-to see-you" gleam in his/her eye! You're more likely to get the "Who-the-heck-are-you?" glare if s/he looks at you at all.

Be mindful to approach slowly. Wait for your loved one to be aware of your presence. Make sure your eyes meet. You want your loved one to see you smile. Use your loved one's name then introduce yourself and state your relationship (wife, husband, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend). Wait for a response. Be patient. Ask the initial question differently if you don't receive a response or change the subject.

As Alzheimer’s takes its toll, we struggle more to learn about the world our loved ones live in. When visiting a loved one with Alzheimer's, first establish a connection through eye-contact, smile then learn what the loved one is thinking in order to have a more meaningful experience.


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