What People With Alzheimer’s Want You to Know

What People With Alzheimer’s Want You to Know
A man who is one of many people with Alzheimer’s stares straight ahead as he leans on a cane.

Improve communication with someone you love by learning what people with Alzheimer’s want you to know.

If you’ve ever wished you could look a senior with dementia in the eye and understand exactly what they’re thinking, we just might be able to help you with that! Communicating effectively with someone with dementia isn’t easy, especially as the disease progresses. Following are several statements provided by people with Alzheimer’s to give you some insight into what it feels like to live with the disease.

  1. You haven’t lost me. A diagnosis of dementia does impact a person in many ways, but it doesn’t change the essence of who they are. “I love the same people and doing the same things I did before my diagnosis,” explains Dale Rivard. It’s essential to recognize that while memory and cognitive abilities may decline, the core of the individual remains unchanged. They still cherish relationships and enjoy familiar activities.
  1. Talk to me directly. Dementia is an isolating disease, and even more so when family and friends avoid interactions. Jerry Smith shares, “It’s upsetting to have others ask my wife how I am doing when I am sitting right there or nearby.” This statement underscores the importance of direct communication. Engaging with individuals with dementia directly helps maintain their sense of dignity and inclusion, fostering meaningful connections despite the challenges they face.
  1. My disease-related behaviors are not character flaws. Understand that aggression and other challenging behaviors are a manifestation of dementia. It’s crucial to approach behaviors stemming from dementia with empathy and compassion. Recognizing these behaviors as symptoms of the disease rather than deliberate actions helps promote a supportive environment for both the individual and their caregivers. A little patience, understanding, and grace are necessary tools in your dementia care kit.
  1. My life isn’t over. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is difficult, but does not mean that the person is unable to dream new dreams or set and reach new goals. Help a senior with dementia live a fulfilling life according to their particular abilities and desires. Focus on the importance of fostering hope and supporting the individual’s aspirations. Despite the challenges posed by dementia, there are still opportunities for growth, enjoyment, and meaningful experiences to be embraced.
  1. Accept my diagnosis. Family members may be in denial if the senior is in the very early stages of the disease and showing few symptoms. It’s important, however, to let the senior know you’re right there with them in this journey. Laurie Waters explains, “You may not see my illness, but I live it every day.”

At Hired Hands Homecare, our dementia care team is trained and experienced in helping those with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia live life to the fullest. We’re here to walk beside you for as much or as little support as you need. Call us at (866) 940-4343 for a free in-home consultation to learn more about our home care in Novato, San Rafael, Petaluma, and the surrounding areas.

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Want to find out more about our senior care in California and how it can improve safety, comfort, and independence at home? Contact us at (866) 940-4343 to request a free in-home consultation to learn more about our customized care solutions in Novato, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa, Napa, Sonoma, and the surrounding areas.

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