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When I first went online looking for Alzheimer's information, I was surprised to find so little in terms of practical advice. There were nice stories, but little of the nitty gritty. I have some practical advice on how to talk to a person with Alzheimer's. It will vary of course from person to person, but one of the first things that goes is short term memory. So imagine trying to keep track of a conversation or a multi-step set of tasks. Don't forget, even getting ready to go out the door is very mult-step!
Therefore, tell them the first step....and then wait. Wait till they do it. Then go on to the next step. Sometimes it's like moving a stick thru honey, sweet but a drag. For example, it might work better to first say, wash your hair now, now your shoulders, okay, your arms, splash some water on your feet, scrub your feet with the towel. Rather than "Time to take a shower." There is no need to talk slow or babyish, just short compact phrases of what they need to do. They might fuss a little, but notice how they are also relieved they can get thru it now -- with your help.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|