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