STRATEGIES FOR LIVING WITH AN ALZHEIMER’S VICTIM:
Being reasonable, rational, and logical DOES NOT WORK!!! Neither does arguing, pleading or manipulating, Keep communication simple and direct.
They don’t have to be grounded in reality. There’s no need to re-live their pain. Distraction works.
We don’t know what they can or cannot do; all we can do is guess at their abilities. We can let them try, but must be alert for frustration, agitation and anger.
Making deals doesn’t work. THEY FORGET. Just do what needs to be done.
TELL, DON’T ASK! All that choices do is confuse and agitate them.
We can’t do it all by ourselves. It’s OK to ask for and receive help and support.
WE’RE NOT PERFECT. Forgiving ourselves and them makes life much more serene.
Separate the PERSON from the DISEASE! Be grateful for the good times; learn from the bad.
Therapeutic lying may be necessary. It can prevent much stress.
Doctors don’t see the whole picture. We have to tell it like it is. Then, they may also have to lie.
REQUESTS FROM AN ALZHEIMER’S PATIENT:
BE PATIENT WITH ME: Remember I’m the helpless victim of an organic brain disease which is out of my control.
TALK TO ME: Even though I can’t always answer you, I can hear your voice, and sometimes I can comprehend your words.
BE KIND TO ME: For each day of my life’s a long and desperate struggle. Your kindness may be the most special and important part of my day.
CONSIDER MY FEELINGS: They are very much alive within me.
TREAT ME WITH HUMAN DIGINITY AND RESPECT: As I’d treat you if you were the victim.
REMEMBER MY PAST: For I was once a healthy, vibrant person full of life, love, and laughter; with abilities and intelligence.
REMEMBER MY PRESENT: I’m a loving person, a spouse, a parent, a grandparent, a relative, or a dear friend. I very much miss my family, friends and home as I knew them.
REMEMBER MY FUTURE: Though it may seem bleak to you, I’m always filled with hope for tomorrow.
PRAY FOR ME: For I’m a person who lingers in the mist that drifts between time and eternity. Your presence may do more for me than any other outreach or compassion you could extend to me.
SMILE AND HOLD MY HANDS: This gives me a feeling of well-being. Never underestimate the power of a touch or a smile; for they pass on energy from your heart to mine.
LOVE ME: And the gift of love you give will be a blessing which fill both our lives with light forever.