How Do I Communicate With My Loved One Who Has Alzheimers?

Good communication can decrease or even prevent many behavior problems. The number one tip to remember is to treat your loved one as an adult. An individual with a disease, not a diseased individual. He has an entire history of life that stays with him throughout this journey. He will continue to have many of the same characteristics he had before. If he was laid back before, he may be more so now. If he had a high energy/anxiety, he may be really busy. Or, he may have a complete personality change. All people need to have their feelings validated. A person with Alzheimer’s disease is no different. In fact, because of memory loss and insecurity issues, he or she may need it even more. An example: your father who has Alzheimer’s is angry with your husband most of the time. They have had a great relationship since you’ve been married, but now your father blames him for everything. As difficult as it is, keep in mind that the dementia is talking, not your father. You can say, “I don’t blame you for being angry” and then move on. What he is feeling is real to him even if it is not accurate. You will probably have to coach your husband, also. Let him know that this action isn’t against him personally, it is the nature of the illness...

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