Having a conversation with an Alzheimer’s Patient can be very frustrating at times. Often they do not have the ability to carry on a conversation, do not remember what you are discussing or cannot find the proper word they are searching for.
However, there are some things we should never say to an Alzheimer’s patient.
- I know you remember—they honestly don’t remember; instead reminisce with them, you could say “the address was 10” and see if they can finish the address
- I know you can do this—allow them to try, but if they can’t then don’t force them
- You could just do this if you would try–they want to but are not able
- You’re stupid, lazy, dumb, etc.—they honestly have no idea how to do what you ask; that cognitive ability is gone
- You’re wrong—even if they are there is no need to stress them out or argue with them
- That person is dead—unless specifically asked I never told; instead use therapeutic lies “they are not here right now, etc”
- Don’t bring up any subject that might upset or anger them
- Why can’t you remember—again reminisce; don’t make them feel bad
- Don’t you remember when you used to…; don’t you remember Uncle “so and so”—they don’t; maybe ask “Was it Uncle Arthur that drowned in the fishing hole?” and then see if they remember
- Well you can do it if you’d only try—sometimes they can do it if they’d try, but often they just don’t have the cognitive ability
What else would you never say to an Alzheimer’s patient?