More than 5.4 million Americans have been diagnosed with Alzheimer disease. Friends and relatives may have a difficult time in communicating with their loved one, as the condition imposes strict limitations on their behavior and cognition.
Many people are troubled when meeting a person with Alzheimer because they are unsure of whether they are being recognized or not. More often than not, the communication turns out to take an unpredictable path, and the person’s way of acting and talking seldom resembles a habitual situation.
“We know when we are friends with someone with Alzheimer’s and interacting in a variety of settings, we may do our best to do the right thing and say the right thing. But it may not always be the right thing,” said Ruth Drew, director of family and information services at the Alzheimer’s Association.
The disease evolves differently for every person. For some individuals, their personality and social skills remain preserved, while the decaying process comes faster in other cases and with more devastating results.
Medical experts say that the time to reach downtown is from five to 20 years, with people being affected at a younger age evolving faster towards losing their skills.
One good advice is to continue life as it were before. Helping the person to keep a busy social schedule would help to maintain a high life quality. Also, informing everyone on the emergence of the disease can contribute to tightening social connections. The person no longer feels the burden of their condition.
Another idea is to keep all activities that are keeping the person happy. Even though they might have a hard time in following through with the instructions, cooking or playing, games can offer a feeling of comfort and revive positive attitudes.
Offering Alzheimer support can include helping the person change the attitude towards disease and death. Taking one day at a time can also relieve the pressure and help everyone to enjoy the moments. It is imperative to receive support and to feel that life goes on, and one’s presence is still valuable to the family and the community.
The fact that everyone knows about the disease and the person talks openly about the symptoms can uplift communication barriers and make the situation predictable, so that friends and family can better interact and handle what is going on.
People with Alzheimer can feel isolated and hurt that the ones who were once close to them now act shy and draft away. It is, therefore, important to avoid the awkwardness of the moment and try to reach out and create a connection.
Things may be difficult to handle as memory and language start to fail. If the person looks confused when approached, it’s better to repeat your name and mention how it is that you two know each other.
In order to help construct trust and to offer the opportunity for self-expression, it’s better to let the person take the lead and to listen even if things don’t seem to make sense. Alzheimer support involves empowering the person and leading the way towards establishing better connections.
In large groups, offering Alzheimer support means filling in little details on the other participants may help them to relate better and involve in the discussion.
One of the hardest parts is to explain when a loved one had died, as the memory is lost and the person might keep repeating the question and receiving each time the news with great grief.
Another detail is to keep visits during the mornings and the afternoon, as the evenings can bring an increase in confusion and disorientation.
For people recently diagnosed, Alzheimer support involves especially providing emotional comfort. They often feel depressed and worried, and having a supportive environment helps them to gain control. This also means that a person should be trusted to manage the everyday task, and to offer assistance if things get too difficult.
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