When a loved one is facing the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, remember their reality is not your reality. It is important that you DON’T try to change their reality.  No matter how hard you try, you won’t succeed and both you and your loved one will become more frustrated.


Jo Huey’s book, “Alzheimer’s Disease, Ten Simple Solutions for Caregivers” is a great resource for individuals looking for practical steps that are easy to remember when caring for individuals suffering with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. In her book, Jo identifies Ten Absolutes to employ when working with someone with Alzheimer’s. Here are Jo’s suggestions of what not to do and what to do instead.


Don’ts                                       Dos

1) Argue                    instead     Agree

2) Reason                  instead     Divert

3) Shame                   instead     Distract

4) Lecture                   instead     Reassure

5) Say “remember”     instead     Reminisce

6) Say “I told you”      instead     Repeat/regroup

7) Say “You Can’t”       instead     Do what they can

8) Command/Demand instead     Ask/Model

9) Condescend            instead     Encourage/Praise

10) Force                   instead     Reinforce


Try this approach and watch how things change for the positive. Let’s face it, none of us want to be told what we can and can not do.


September is world Alzheimer’s month.  Make a point to say thank you to someone you know that is caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Take time to hug someone you know that is dealing with some form of Dementia.


For more information and helpful resources from Jo Huey visit .


Another great resource on Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can be found at .


Jodi Davis, Elder Care Coordinator, Esplin & Packer LLP


The content here is not intended to be legal advice.  If you have a specific question, you should consult with an attorney.


Tom Packer is an Elder Care Attorney serving all of Southeast Idaho.  As a Life Care Planning law firm, the Elder Care Practice of Tom Packer offers a holistic solution for families struggling to care for an elderly loved one.