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How to Communicate with People with Dementia or Alzheimer Disease

The holiday season is upon us and families will be gathering together. Chances are that you have someone in your family that may have Dementia or Alzheimer’s. Or maybe it’s been awhile since the Grandkids have seen Grandma or Grandpa and they notice that they are acting different than they use to. or saying things that really aren’t appropriate. How do we interact with someone who has a memory or behavior issue? First of all, much patience is required. It is common for the person affected to repeat themselves or ask the same questions over and over again. Listen, and answer, like this is the first time they have asked you their question. Don’t try to correct information or recollections that may not be accurate. No one has ever won an argument with an individual that is affected by Dementia or Alzheimer’s. It will only cause the both of you, aggravation and frustration. Distraction can prove to be a good solution. Look at family pictures or pictures of animals or nature together. Take a walk outside and get some fresh air. And food, (and there will be plenty of this during the holidays), always works well. Take this time to ask questions about their childhood and let them talk. All of us want to be loved, cherished and listened to. We’ll share more next time. Until then, Happy Holidays!

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