Communicating with a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be both upsetting and difficult to cope with. Below are 5 beneficial tips to use when communicating with a family member or friend who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
1. Don’t accuse them of being wrong about something: It’s best to not contradict or correct your loved one if they say something wrong. If they’re alert enough, they’ll realize they made a mistake and correct it. If they do not realize they made a mistake, correcting their error can cause them to feel embarrassed and act unpleasant.
2. Do not argue with a person with Alzheimer’s: Arguing with this person will cause them to become upset and possibly angry. If you find yourself discussing a topic that may cause them to become angry, the best thing to do would be to change the subject. Talk about something that will immediately catch their attention.
3. Do not ask if they remember something: Asking a person with Alzheimer’s if they recall an event, person, etc. from the past may cause them to become embarrassed or frustrated. When diagnosing a person with Dementia, the main feature they lose is their ability to remember events, people and things from the past. Instead of asking questions like “do you remember that we had candy bars when I visited last week?” Rephrase them to be asked in a way that will not frustrate them by saying “I remember that we had candy the last time I was here. It was delicious.”
4. Don’t remind the person that a loved one has passed: People with dementia often believe their deceased spouse, parent, or other loved ones are still alive. If you inform them that this person has passed, they might not believe you and become angry. They might also feel upset and hurt that this person no longer visits them. If asked about their loved ones, it’s wise to answer honestly, however if they do not speak about that subject, I recommend you talk about another topic.
5. Don’t bring up other topics that may upset them: Seeing your loved one upset or confused is not easy. Avoid bringing up topics you both disagree on, especially ones that might upset them. By doing this will prevent them from becoming angry and frustrated.