Working with Alzheimer and dementia patients, I often witness family and/or staff talking about a person right in front of them.
Things will be said that are demeaning or degrading to the person.
Often the attitude is that because the person has Alzheimer’s or dementia, then s/he does not understand what is being said about them.
I’ve discovered through observing my residents that this is not often the case.
Yes, there are times when they may not understand. However, more often than not they understand more than they can express. They understand exactly what is being said about them. This can also show the person how those speaking really care about them.
So as with all things be careful what you say. If the individual did not have Alzheimer’s, would you be saying these things directly to them?