5 Ways to Support Someone with Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition that profoundly impacts the minds and memories of our loved ones, affecting both the individuals and their families. While a cure for the disease is yet to be discovered, there are meaningful ways for us to support someone experiencing Alzheimer’s. In recognition and support of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we will explore the top five ways to help those affected by this condition.
Help Around the Home
Practical help around the house is a fantastic way to show support to your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Whether it’s cooking, cleaning, or taking them to a doctor’s appointment, making yourself available and present will leave a positive impact on your loved one. If you live far away and are unable to provide in-person support, consider creating a Care Registry to coordinate a meals, logistics, transportationwith other family members and friends who live close by. You can also help by signing your loved one up for a cleaning service that can provide regular help tidying up around the home.
Stay in Touch
Staying connected to a family member with Alzheimer’s holds a deep personal significance for families facing this condition. Though your loved one’s memory may decline throughout the course of the disease, maintaining a frequent connection through phone calls, visits, and gestures can provide a meaningful connection, offer comfort, and instill a sense of belonging. Those interactions will not only enable you to monitor their well-being, but they will also allow you to build cherished memories and create moments of joy amidst the challenges of the condition.
Helpful tip: When visiting a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, consider bringing a memory-jogging activity like a family photo album, a puzzle, or playing their favorite song in the background. This can help them remember special moments and bring reassurance.
Share Photos & Videos
Revisiting the past through photos and videos will stir up good conversation and bring back fond memories. Studies have shown that photos and videos can also improve the memory of a person living with Alzheimer’s and improve their quality of life, medication compliance, and overall cognitive performance.
Long-term memory typically endures the longest for those with Alzheimer’s, so spending time reminiscing about special moments of your loved one’s life will create sweet moments and benefit your loved one’s cognition. Consider creating a video or photo collage from iMemories to digitize your photos and videos for you to watch as a slideshow with your family members.
Engage Them in Conversation
Alzheimer’s can feel isolating for those living with the condition. Bring reassurance and comfort by engaging them in thoughtful conversation. This can help them maintain a sense of self, sustain the relationship, and maintain their quality of life.
- Speak slowly and clearly, avoiding long sentences or asking a lot of questions.
- Maintain eye contact when they’re speaking or asking questions.
- Acknowledge what they’ve said, even if they do not answer your question – show them that they are heard.
- Give them enough time to think and respond.
- Encourage them to join others in conversation.
Support the Alzheimer’s Cause
There are SO many powerful organizations fighting for a cure to end Alzheimer’s. Consider supporting groups like the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America or attend a walk to raise funding for research. If your loved one is able, bring them with you on a walk or to an event!
Visit our site for gift inspiration and available resources to best support your loved one with Alzheimer’s.