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When Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms Make Visits Uncomfortable – Try These Tips

It can be a bit intimidating to know exactly what to say and just how to act when spending time with a loved one exhibiting Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. And, sadly, due to a few inherent symptoms of the condition, commonly family and friends feel so uncomfortable that they avoid visiting with the person at all. Understanding more information on the condition and what to anticipate, and preparing in advance about the best way to manage challenging behaviors, can help. 

The leading difficulties family relations and friends encounter with their senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease end up in one of three categories: changes in behavior, changes in memory, and communication ability; and the level of difficulty will likely fluctuate depending on the particular stage of the disease the senior is actually experiencing.

As a way to help overcome these challenges and then make the visit as enjoyable as possible, Homecare by Design’s West Lafayette home care professionals recommend the following strategy:

  • Begin your visit with a smile, and be prepared to re-introduce yourself if needed.
  • Use very simple language and short sentences, and talk slowly.
  • Refrain from arguing with or correcting the senior.
  • Bring photos from a favorite past memory for reminiscing.
  • Listen to a few of the person’s favorite songs together, and ask her or him to dance if he or she would like!
  • Going on a walk together when possible, or other physical exercise, may make the visit more enjoyable for both of you.
  • Continue being calm throughout your visit, no matter if the senior gets agitated or displays inappropriate behavior.
  • Maintain a sense of respect during your conversation, knowing the senior will more than likely repeat questions and statements.
  • Minimize distractions in order to provide the person with your full attention.
  • Most importantly, bear in mind who the senior was pre-dementia, and remind the individual what she or he has done which has inspired you or helped you grow into the individual that you are today.

For additional advice on effective communications with those with Alzheimer’s disease, or for specialized West Lafayette home care assistance, contact the Alzheimer’s care team at Homecare by Design. Our knowledgeable dementia caregivers are fully trained and experienced in many different tactics to ensure seniors displaying Alzheimer’s disease symptoms remain secure and safe and are in a position to live life to the fullest, with the utmost respect and compassion all of the time.

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