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How to Improve Your Interaction with the Patient

When you enter the world of an Alzheimer’s sufferer, just play along. If that means adding a bit of fiction or incorporating some dramatic acting to your daily regimen, then feel free to do so in order to help preserve the person’s dignity. When you undermine, contradict or challenge an Alzheimer’s delusion, you make the sufferer feel insecure and threatened. The greatest heartbreak is that you rob this person of his or her dignity.

People afflicted with Alzheimer’s are highly emotional and can switch from laughter and affection to anger and sadness in a moment. We must remember that an Alzheimer’s patient is truly in the moment. Make the moment as loving as you can.

It is very important for us to keep in mind that we must preserve the dignity of the Alzheimer’s patient and not embarrass the person. Try to be positive and upbeat because your emotions are absorbed by the person in your care. And remember to hug and touch the patient a lot! Body language becomes a powerful tool of communication.

When you play along with someone who has Alzheimer’s disease, you ease up on him or her by suspending judgment and childlike scolding; best of all you ease up on yourself, the worn-out caregiver. You need to find a way to reduce stress levels. By creating a calmer, more serene environment both of you feel better, act better and interrelate better.

Here are some tips:
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, and a personal trainer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB 1240AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com


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