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How Should I Treat a Loved One with Alzheimer's?

by Carole Larkin, Alzheimer's & Dementia Expert
July 11, 2013

Question: My father has recently been diagnosed Alzheimer’s. I am not sure of the best way to help him. Should I behave like nothing has happened or take extra precautions? Please help.

Answer: Should you treat Alzheimer’s patients like you’ve always treated them, before their disease, in the hopes they’ll straighten up? No they won’t! Their brains are dying. They are doing the best they know how to do. Be compassionate and forgiving with your father. Keep him safe, but encourage him to do everything they possibly can for himself in that safe environment. It will help him maintain his dignity and self-esteem. Engage him with things that he would like to do and that he can succeed at. Hold him, touch him gently and give him love.

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Carole Larkin MA, CMC, CAEd, QDCS, EICS is a geriatric care manager who specializes in helping families with Alzheimer’s and related dementias issues. She also trains caregivers in home care companies, assisted livings, memory care communities, and nursing homes in dementia specific techniques for best care of dementia sufferers. Her company, ThirdAge Services LLC, is located in Dallas, TX.

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