Visiting a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be emotionally rewarding but also frustrating and scary to some. Many people feel unsure how to act and speak with someone who has Alzheimer’s. These tips from local Boca Raton home care agency Home Care Assistance can make your visit more enjoyable and help you interact with your loved one in a meaningful way.
Give Your Loved One Time to Respond
Seniors with Alzheimer’s have trouble processing more than one thing at a time. Ask only one question at a time, speak slowly, and give your loved one time to respond to avoid confusion or irritation.
Use His or Her Name Often
People with Alzheimer’s usually respond positively to hearing their own name frequently in conversation. Using your loved one’s name rather than “mom” or “grandma” can also avoid distressing your loved one if he or she believes their children are still young, in which case you couldn’t possibly be the child or grandchild.
Focus on One-on-One Visits
It’s best to visit alone or in a very small group as people with Alzheimer’s can become over-stimulated with too many people in the room.
Don’t Ask If He or She Remembers
Asking a loved one with AD if he or she remembers something can cause hurt feelings, anger, or embarrassment. Instead, offer reminders. Don’t assume your loved one doesn’t remember something, either, as people with Alzheimer’s can have times of perfect lucidity and remember things they otherwise would not.
Make Eye Contact at Eye Level
Standing or hovering over your loved one can make him or her nervous or anxious. Kneel or sit near your loved one and make eye contact during the conversation to make him or her feel more comfortable.
Don’t Mention Repetition
Your loved one may repeat questions or stories over and over again. Remember that he or she isn’t aware of this repetition. Don’t mention the repetition or it can make your loved one feel embarrassed or upset. Simply stay calm and act as if it’s the first time you’ve heard it.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and needs additional support to live independently at home, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our comprehensive Boca Raton Alzheimer’s care includes safety monitoring, healthy meal preparation, and emotional support, among other things, to help seniors remain happy and healthy in the comfort of home regardless of cognitive ability. For more information, please call (561) 826.9282 and speak with a friendly Care Manager today.