Accepting Alzheimer’s Disease

One of my favorite authors about Alzheimer’s disease, Marie Marley, wrote: “All too often loved ones of people with dementia are in denial. They spend their time trying to get the person to “act normal.” Trying to get them to remember and do things. This often leads to anger and frustration for the visitor and also for the person with Alzheimer’s as well.”

A person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may ask a loved one the same question over and over again. For example: Where are the children? You may not know what children they are referring to. Rather than become frustrated trying to find out from the Alzheimer’s patient what children they are referring to it is easier to just give an answer, such as: They are in school. This will eliminate a lot of frustration for all concerned and you will be able to enjoy your time. Another way is to change the subject. Try focusing on something in the present moment that doesn’t involve the person’s memory. Looking at photographs is always a good way to keep the person occupied. Try putting together a photo album that you can use on your visits or letting the person with Alzheimer’s help you put the album together. This could be a good experience for both of you.

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