I came across this great list of ways to interact with your loved one. As the holidays are here and family are visiting, this is an easy list to share. Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow American readers!
Appropriate activities help persons pass the time; meaningfully and productively, and reduce agitation, boredom, daytime sleeping and depression.
Agitation is often alleviated when the caregiver remains calm, reassuring and respectful of the person’s feelings.
Adults with disabilities are still adults. It is important that they are always treated with respect and dignity.
Adapt the task to fit the ability of the individual. Break down the activity into separate steps; simplify tasks by eliminating the frustrating steps.
Assessment is ongoing. What is safe and effective for now may not be so at a later time. Keep watching and re-evaluating.
Arguments are useless. In fact, they often make matters worse. Confusion, memory loss and frustration are making the person behave irrationally and you can’t argue them out of it.
Allow as much freedom as possible, while keeping safety and comfort in mind.
Actions help when verbal communication may fail. Help the person by demonstrating what you mean, or sometimes by starting the activity.
Assume that the person can understand and hear what you say even if they are confused. Do not say things to others that they could hear as if they are deaf.
Appreciate good days or moments even though the person’s ability is not going to remain capable.
*Adapted from the Southern Tier Missouri Alzheimer’s Chapter Newsletter, with a few adaptations from me.