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What Not to Do When a Family Member has Alzheimer’s

September 26, 2017 in: What Not to Do When a Family Member has Alzheimer,

A family member is suffering from Alzheimer’s can be a challenging time for the whole family.

Alzheimer’s is not an ordinary disease. It robs a person of their thinking and decision-making ability. In addition to that, it leads to bouts of anger, confusion, and misjudgments that can be taxing on everyone in the family.

In times like these, it may become difficult to handle the Alzheimer’s patient with patience and love. However, an insight into what you should and specifically SHOULDN’T do when a family member has Alzheimer’s can make a lot of difference.

Here’s what the senior-care experts in our assisted living facility – The Palazzo – suggest you shouldn’t do when there’s a person around you, suffering from Alzheimer’s.  

Don’t Argue With Them

It is important to realize that people with Alzheimer’s have trouble formulating their thoughts and speaking them out. Plus, the fact that they’re unable to do their daily tasks on their own gets them aggravated. They are most confused. They get irritated easily. All these circumstances cause unprecedented mood swings.

They might accuse you of stealing their vacuum cleaner – we know that’s absurd, but it happens. They probably wouldn’t even remember what they said or did just moments ago. So, no matter how hurtful or annoying their behavior or words are, deal with them patiently. Don’t argue over anything.

Engaging in an argument with someone who has Alzheimer’s is only going to trigger them further. They tend to become more aggressive when faced with resistance. So, when dealing with an Alzheimer’s patient be calm, be tolerant, and just forget for a while that there’s a word called “NO” in your dictionary.

Avoid Lengthy Explanations

Alzheimer’s brings progressive damage to the cognitive ability of the patient. It is extremely important to remember this fact all the time. This impairment of cognitive functioning leaves patients with Alzheimer’s forgetful and confused at all times. Memory loss is not an easy thing to deal with for a person who was once fit and active both mentally and physically.

Although they might not remember most of that part of their life, you do. Pull all those memories to hold your grounds. The one thing you shouldn’t do while you take care of someone with Alzheimer’s is to avoid lengthy explanations. They will question you again and again – they’ll be stubborn and unreasonable – but they can’t help it and you can’t reason with them.  

They wouldn’t understand what you’re saying. They would insist on an answer or explanation, but you’ve got to keep it short and sweet. It could be frustrating, but it’s not impossible.   

Don’t Question Their Abilities

Most importantly, make sure you never, ever question their abilities. You need to keep a lighter hand on them. Alzheimer’s patients lose their decision-making abilities along with their memory. This may lead to peculiar behavior on their part. They may become prone to hoarding dog food or stealing keys wherever they go – peculiar right? But it’s absolutely normal for them.

No matter what the circumstances are, never blatantly point that out to them or point out their poor judgment and weird activities. Anything you say, that may sound as accusatory to them will trigger agitation on their part, which has a tendency to turn violent.

We know it’s heartbreaking to see your loved ones suffering this way and at times, it may become frustrating too – but all you need to do it be patient and handle them with love.  

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