10 Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting Someone with Alzheimer’s

Visiting a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can bring on a range of emotions, but don’t let their condition scare you away from checking in on them. Although you may worry that your loved one will struggle with confusion and other memory issues, visitors often find that many people with Alzheimer’s have lucid periods. Additionally, not only is social interaction important for their health and emotional well-being, but chances are they will truly enjoy having company. Follow this list of do’s and don’ts to make your visit the best possible experience for your loved one and yourself.

Do: Present a Calm and Friendly Attitude

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Having Alzheimer’s can be disorienting and confusing. Make sure that both your body language and your voice are calm and reassuring. Speak slowly, softly, and with short sentences that are easy to grasp. Try to talk to your loved one at eye level.

Don’t: Take Things Personally

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Frustration and confusion caused by the disease can lead your loved one to expressing feelings of anger. Don’t let your feelings be hurt by any of their unkind words or negativity. Blame the disease, not your loved one. Remember what they’re going through, and be patient.

Do: Ask the Right Kind of Questions

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Ask questions that are open-ended, with no “right” or “wrong” answers. This gives your loved one a chance to have a conversation without feeling anxious, or that their intelligence or acuity is being judged.

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