Wednesday Workshop – Preserving the Early Stage Patient’s Dignity
Hello and welcome to today’s Wednesday Workshop. These days, Alzheimer’s disease is being diagnosed at earlier stages. This means many people are aware of how the disease is affecting their memory.
Here are some tips on how to preserve the dignity of someone who knows they have memory problems:
1. Take time to listen. The person may want to talk about the changes they are noticing.
2. Be as sensitive as you can. Don’t just correct the person every time they forget something or say something odd. Try to understand that it’s a struggle for the person to communicate.
3. Be patient when someone with Alzheimer’s disease has trouble finding the right words or putting feelings into words.
4. Help the person find words to express thoughts and feelings. For example, Mrs. Smith cried after forgetting her garden club meeting. She finally said, “I wish they stopped.” Her daughter said, “You wish your friends has stopped by for you.” Mrs. Smith nodded and repeated some of the words. Then Mrs. Smith said, “I want to go.” Her daughter said, “You want to go to the garden club meeting.” Again, Mrs. Smith nodded and repeated the words.
5. Be careful not to put words in the person’s mouth or “fill in the blanks” too quickly.
6. As people lose the ability to talk clearly, they may rely on other ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings. For example, their facial expressions may show sadness, anger, or frustration. Grasping at their undergarments may tell you they need to use the bathroom.
These are just a few suggestions but for additional tips on preserving your loved one’s dignity in the early stages of Alzheimer’s
Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!