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What Not to Say to a Senior with Alzheimer’s

Communication with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s can be challenging as the disease progresses, but there are simple tips you can follow to make the task easier. Here are five things you’ll want to avoid saying when speaking with your family member.

1. Don’t start questions with the word “remember.”

Resist the temptation to try to prompt your loved one’s memory by asking if he can remember something or someone, as it’s likely to cause your family member embarrassment, confusion, or frustration. Instead, steer the conversation towards subjects that allow both of you to reminisce about times past.

2. Don’t rush to correct your loved one when he or she says something wrong.

There’s no real benefit to winning an argument with someone who has Alzheimer’s. When you keep in mind that enhancing your loved one’s quality of life is your first priority, it’s easier to let mistakes, differing opinions, and misunderstandings slide.

3. Don’t respond to repetitive questions with “I already told you.”

Those who provide live-in care in Westfield for a senior with Alzheimer’s spend a lot of their time answering the same questions and repeating the same information. Look for new ways to say the same thing for better clarification, and make arrangements to take a break if you begin to feel overwhelmed.

4. Don’t talk in long, complicated sentences.

People with Alzheimer’s have problems with short-term memory, which means new memories are no longer stored in the brain. By the time you reach the end of a complex sentence, your loved one may not remember the beginning. Find simpler ways to get your message across.

5. Don’t use too many pronouns.

Avoid using words like “it, him, her, that, those” and use the nouns they represent instead. Even a simple statement like “Hi, Mom, it’s me” can bewilder your family member. “It’s your daughter, Mary” is a better option.

Making your family member feel safe, secure and cared for is a top goal during any conversation with a loved one with Alzheimer’s. With some education, patience and some professional help like that provided by Home Care Assistance Westfield, you can help improve the quality of life for your elderly family member.

May is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and there is no better time to seek out more information or secure Alzheimer’s or dementia care in Westfield for your senior loved one. Give us a call at 908.450.9400 to schedule your free in-home consultation today. A knowledgeable Care Manager can discuss custom care plans, answer questions, and help you find the right caregiver for your loved one’s individual needs.