CBS VIDEO + TIPS CHECKLIST:
Neurologist Dr. Gayatri Devi joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss the challenges behind communicating with and caring for the more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s.
Communicating with Alzheimer’s
- Let family & friends know what the person can still do & understand
- Avoid criticizing or correcting
- Engage them in a place & space with minimal distractions
- Give visitors suggestions about how to start conversations
- Remind visitors to come when person is at his or her best
- Don’t take it personally if you aren’t recognized
- Allow them the comfort of their error
- Allow them to repeat themselves to clarify, without your jumping in
- Allow extra time for a response
- Ask one question at a time
- Be in their reality. For example, if they want to go to work, instead of telling them they retired 20 years ago, tell them it is a holiday today.
- Focus on the strengths they have that maximize independence
- Encourage tasks with low safety risks
- Ask what they need help with
- Ask them what specific frustrations they feel they face
And remember that it is about more than just the patient – so do not criticize the caregivers.