Over the course of the next several days I’m going to be sharing some strategies that can help improve communication and cooperation while caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related diseases.
Today I’m starting with the Three DON’TS of Dementia:
1. Don’t argue. You will not win. Arguing will just make them more agitated and upset.
2. Don’t try to talk them out of it. Rationalizing and reasoning will not work. Whatever they are experiencing in the current moment is as real to them as your reality is to you. Trying to convince them otherwise is futile, and it will leave both of you upset and frustrated.
3. Don’t pressure them to remember. They can’t. Alzheimer’s is a thief that steals memories, skills and abilities. Once those are gone, they cannot be recreated or reconstructed. Pressuring them to remember will only make them feel frustrated, upset and like a failure.
One more thing – DON”T think you can fix, control or change it. Alzheimer’s is a thief that never stops stealing. Lori LeBey with Alzheimer’s Speaks says there are only three things that matter when you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
1. Keep them happy
2. Keep them safe
3. Keep them pain free