Confusion can lead to a lot of stress but there are simple guidelines that can help families cope with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s –
- Don’t Take Outbursts Personally - Your parent is not in control, dementia has taken over.
- Keep Your Requests Simple - “Sit down, Dad,” touch the chair and wait until Dad sits down, or “Come here, Dad,” then gesture and smile.
- Beware of Your Physical Attitude - Tight lips, tense posture, hands folded across the chest will cause fear and destroy communication.
- Use Strategies When Eating Out - Dine at non-peak times to avoid crowds and do not expect dad to choose from the menu.
- Avoid Crowds - Crowds will “crowd” Dad.
- Make Appointments for Mid-morning - Aggression and confusion are more prevalent in the evening.
- Make Sure Healthcare Professionals are Savvy about Dementia - Dentists, doctors, all healthcare workers that Dad may come in contact with.
- Build in Routines and Encourage Pleasurable Activities - Routine is the cornerstone of stress reduction for dementia patients.
- Use Day-Care Programs - Peer communication, mental and physical stimulation are mandatory for decreasing problems.
- Implement Appropriate Safety Measures - Install safety locks on cabinets to prevent accidental injuries from knives, poisons, dishwashing or laundry soap.
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
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