As your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses, you may feel increased tension in your interactions. It is common for both the caregiver and the person with Alzheimer’s to become frustrated. Here are just a few of the many helpful tips available for an Alzheimer’s caregiver to improve their daily interactions:
- Know what to expect – A person with Alzheimer’s or dementia will have days or moments when they seem like they are healthy and lucid. However, at any time you may also notice patterns such as:
- Forgetting or substituting words
- Describing objects rather than naming them
- Repeating stories and questions
- Stringing unrelated thought and ideas together
- Becoming quiet or withdrawn
- Divert instead of reason – If your loved one is convinced of something incorrect, don’t insist on correcting them. Rather, try to divert their attention to focus on something else.
- Reassure instead of lecture – Use kind and loving language without shame or condescension. Try to remain patient and calm in your conversations.
- Ask instead of demand – Remember that dignity is still important to your loved one. Asking over demanding can help preserve that dignity. You can also find kind ways to reinforce rather than force when needing them to perform a task.
- Use humor – A smile and laugh can do a great deal to lighten the mood and preserve relationships. Try to keep tones positive and don’t be afraid to crack a joke.
- Stick with it – It may become difficult when a loved one forgets or misunderstands who you are but keep showing up for them. Find support with another Alzheimer’s caregiver to buoy you up when you’re feeling stressed or discouraged.
For more Alzheimer’s caregiver resources and support, come to us at The Almost Home Group.