There are times when people who are dedicated in helping patients cope with Alzheimer’s will feel frustrated and confused. Dealing with a person who has Alzheimer’s disease is never easy. The job gets harder when the illness gets worse. So, what should you do?
People with AD have trouble remembering things so it can be tough to communicate with them. They easily forget what they want to say. They also have problems in understanding some words. When the conversation takes longer, it will be hard for them to stay focused.
The first thing that you can do is to understand how AD affects the person’s memory. Then, try to make the communication less complicated. Make it easier for the person to understand what you are talking about. Maintain eye contact and call him by name while talking to keep the person’s attention.
Observe your tone and pitch while speaking to the patient. You must be aware of the way you look at the person. Make sure that your body language is appropriate. If you fold your arms tightly, the person with AD may think that you are angry or tense.
Always encourage the person with AD to talk as much as he can. Expressing his thoughts will make him feel good about himself. You may also touch the person’s shoulder gently to make him feel more comfortable with you. Helping patients cope with Alzheimer’s is not always serious. Try to engage the person in fun activities to distract his mind from communication problems.
During the early stages of memory loss, the patient is informed of the changes he should expect. The doctor tells the patient how AD can affect his mind.
Make the patient feel better by listening carefully to what he says. Let the person express his feelings and thoughts about the changes that he is experiencing. Take note of the person’s words and see if there are lapses in his speech.
Be sensitive to the person’s feelings. Don’t correct him every time he says something weird or every time he commits a mistake. Don’t embarrass the person if he forgets something. Be mindful of the struggle he is dealing with. It is hard to be the one to take care of someone who is diagnosed with AD, but it is harder to be the person who has AD.
Increase your patience when the person is struggling to find the right words to say. Try to help him express his feelings. Encourage him to elaborate his sentences by repeating his words and adding more information. On the other hand, do not be too quick in filling in the person’s speech. Allow the AD patient to finish his sentences before you think of the more appropriate terms to use.
Lastly, you have always to observe the changes that you see about the patient. In helping patients cope with Alzheimer’s, it is necessary to understand their behavior and deal with it properly.