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What Not to Do With Someone Who Has Dementia

Senior with memory issues puts head on hands and wonders about dementia dos and don'ts

When someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia, it can be tricky to determine what you should do. It’s challenging to figure out what may trigger them. Your interactions with them may leave you feeling like you need to walk on eggshells. However, there are simple dementia do’s and don’ts that can help both you and your loved one. Once you learn how to navigate these situations, you’ll be more able to communicate with your loved one. If you have questions about what not to do with a dementia patient, the experts at a dementia care program, such as the one at Parkway Place may be able to help.

You aren’t alone in your loved one’s journey through dementia. To learn more about how to help your loved one, please reach out to Parkway Place by calling 281.305.1846 or using our online form.

Dementia Do’s and Don’ts

There are several dementia do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when a loved one is struggling with their memory:

Don’t Ignore Your Loved One

It’s normal to feel awkward initially when you’re interacting with someone with dementia. However, you shouldn’t shut them out or stop visiting just because you’re uncomfortable. Your loved one still needs social interaction; in fact, experts suggest that those with Alzheimer’s can improve their memory loss when they visit other people. That said, decreased social interactions can worsen the condition.

Don’t Talk Down to Them

Your loved one may need care, but they aren’t a child. Interacting with them intellectually can be beneficial. Because their ability to acquire knowledge and understanding is deteriorating, talking to them like they are an adult can help them retain what they already have.

Don’t Try to Determine if Their Condition Is Worsening

As a loved one, it isn’t your job to figure out if your loved one’s condition is getting worse. In most cases, the symptoms fluctuate, so in the best of times, it is not productive. In addition, quizzing them about the day of the week or what your name is can result in agitation, anxiety, and restlessness.

Don’t Put the Focus on What Your Loved One Can’t Do

If you’re watching someone you love lose the ability to do certain things, you may feel upset. This loss can be difficult to accept, but holding onto it won’t help you or your loved one. Instead, focus on what they can do, such as:

  • Walking
  • Doing puzzles
  • Playing games
  • Reading together

By focusing on what your loved one still can do, you’re making the most of the time you have together.

Don’t Take It Personally

If your loved one is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, they may lash out at you or those around you for no apparent reason. They may hit, throw things, scream, curse, or insult those around them, but remember that this action isn’t really about you. Many experts believe such outbursts are a result of frustrations or fears that they aren’t able to communicate. They may not be able to voice their physical or emotional pain, or they may feel confused or isolated. Your loved one isn’t trying to be difficult; they’re struggling with how they feel.

Seek Dementia Treatment at Parkway Place

If someone you love is going through the stages of dementia, it may be time to find a dementia treatment programs. This program can keep your loved one safe and help them retain memories as long as possible. At Parkway Place, we are committed to helping you and your family through this time. We’ll work with you to ensure your loved one is happy and supported throughout their time here. To learn more about what not to do with dementia patient, please contact us at 281.305.1846.