What NOT to Say to someone with Alzheimer’s
If you stop saying these things to a person with a dementia like Alzheimer’s, your struggles with communication and behavior problems will reduce.
1. Never say, “Do you remember me?
This immediately says to the person, “I’m testing you” and they will get nervous and fail. Instead say, “I’m Jane, the therapist” or “I’m Susan, your daughter.”
2. Never argue.
Arguing makes them dig in their heels. Instead agree or ask questions “Yes, this winter (even if it’s August) sure is hot.”
3. Never try to reason.
They literally can’t reason like they used to before the dementia. It won’t work like it used to, or like you want it to. Instead give choices “Do you want to eat lunch now or in ½ hour?”
4. Never say “You are home”
They have gone back in time and they are referring to a home they lived in long ago. Instead, validate their feelings, tell them they are safe and/or ask their favorite thing about their home.
5. Never say “I told you…”
When you say this you are saying “You are a moron who can’t remember things.” Instead, simply repeat what you’ve already said a gazillion times before.
So try these and see the difference!
If you are struggling with a family member with a dementia like Alzheimer’s give me a call at 206-769-8108 and I can help you walk through the disease.