If you have a loved one in your life who has Alzheimers, it can be difficult to know how to interact with them. After all, if you were close to this person, it can be difficult to see them go through this severe memory loss. However, this shouldn't drastically alter how you interact with them even though you are experiencing high set emotions during this time. Here are four behaviors you should avoid:
- Treating Them Like a Child: Just because your loved one is going through this memory loss doesn't mean that they are suddenly forgetful that they are adults. Many people will start talking to them like a child. This includes talking in a sing-song voice and getting up close in their face. Most likely, your loved one is not going to like this. It can make them angry and not want to be around you, which can make you much more emotional that they are going through this.
- Not Calling Them by Name: If this person is your grandfather, mother, father, or grandmother, you should continue calling them by "mom," "dad," "grandma," "grandpa," or whatever nickname you had for them growing up even if they don't remember what their relationship with you was. The reason for this is because it shows that you still have respect for them and it will make them feel loved even if they can't remember.
- Assuming They are Confused: Just because your loved one cannot remember all the time doesn't mean that they are always confused. There are times when they will remember, so it's important not to assume that they are confused. This will make them more aware that they are sick and can bring on depression. You should also take everything that they say seriously. Sometimes, memories are triggered that can make them start talking about things you don't understand, but it's important to listen and respond as if it makes sense.
- Asking Questions in Hopes to Trigger Memories: Finally, you can make someone with Alzheimers angry and upset if you ask too many questions in hopes that it will trigger their memories. This does not work and can only make your loved one resistant to trying to remember. It can also make them more anxious and frustrated that they are sick.
When you know what four behaviors to avoid, you can be sure that you interact with your loved one in the healthiest way possible.