Wednesday Workshop – When & How to Tell Family and Friends About an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
Hello and welcome to today’s Wednesday Workshop. When you learn a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, you may wonder when the best time to tell friends and family is. To answer that question, there is no single right way to tell others.
Realize that your family and circle of friends often sense that something is wrong before they are told. Alzheimer’s disease is hard to keep secret. When the time seems right, it is best to be honest with family and friends about what is happening to your loved one. Use this as a chance to educate them about the disease.
For example, you could tell them about the disease, it’s effects, how it progresses and how it effects the caregiver. Tell them what they can do to help. Let them know early that you will need breaks and assistance on occasion.
To further help your family and friends understand how to interact with the person who has Alzheimer’s you can:
- Help them realize what your loved one can do and what they understand
- Give them suggestions about how to communicate with your loved one
- Help them avoid correcting your loved one if they make a mistake or forgets something
- Help them plan activities or visitations with your loved one
As a handy tool, some caregivers carry a card that explains why the person with Alzheimer’s might say or do funny things. For example, the card would say, “My family member has Alzheimer’s disease. He or she may say or do things that are unexpected. Thank you for understanding.” The card allows you to educate others about what is going on with your loved one without them hearing you. It also means you don’t have to keep explaining things.
The Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center can provide these “caregiver cards” to you!
Feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!