Every November we observe National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, designed to call attention to one of the world’s fastest growing diseases. Approximately 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, making it the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.
Recognizing that Alzheimer’s patients can often have difficulty communicating thoughts and emotions and may also have trouble understanding what others are saying, the Alzheimer’s Association offers a number of suggestions to better communicate with your Alzheimer’s patient.
These minor adjustments in your behavior and communication can help your senior feel at ease:
- In approaching the person, be sure to
identify yourself and keep good eye contact.
- Maintain the person’s attention by
stating their name often and loudly.
- Avoid the use of vague or general
statements. Use strong descriptive words
- Instead of correcting the person, try to
find the meaning in what they are saying.
- Find a quiet place to talk with limited
There are a number of challenges that come with being a caregiver and it is common for caregivers to experience high levels of stress, anxiety and guilt in caring for their senior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association suggests the following relaxation techniques for avoiding caregiver’s stress:
- Visualize a peaceful place or situation
- Meditate for about 15 minutes
- Engage in breathing exercises
- Use progressive muscle relaxation
Caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s is no easytask. The high level of care required by your senior can often seem overwhelming. It’s important to stay current on recent developments in care techniques and treatment options. If you’re in need of more information and assistance, consider seeking support from your local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.