Advice from an Alzheimer's Patient
- Don't hurry me. Hurrying me tends to make me forget, and then I tend to get confused.
- If I forget something, remind me gently. If I seem to forget that company is coming or that we are due to be somewhere, help me realize that it is okay if we are a little late or that everything needed is not ready.
- Do not keep asking questions. This frustrates me and makes me feel like I am being tested.
- When I forget, either laugh with me or hug me, but please do not try to make excuses for me. When you do that, it makes me angry and I feel that you do not understand what I am feeling inside.
- When I say, "I don't know how to turn on the oven," just come and help me. No words are needed and chances are, tomorrow I may be able to do it on my own.
- When I tell you something "dumb" that I did, please listen and try to understand that what I am really trying to tell you is that I am scared and hurting. I need to be loved and given time to talk about what is happening to me.
- When I am silent and unable to sleep, chances are that I am struggling with my own fears about how this is going to hurt you as time goes on. I am asking myself what is going to happen to me and how we, as a family, are going to cope and survive.
- Try to understand that some days I almost convince myself that there is nothing wrong with me…and then there are days when I have no doubt that my head is not working normally. These latter days are the ones when you are most apt to find me down in spirit. Try to understand that I am really finding it difficult to believe that this is really happening to me. The big questions "why?" and "how long?" keep going around in my head.
For further information about Alzheimer's Disease or related disorders, contact the Alzheimer's Association at: