How to Emotionally Support a Loved One with Alzheimer’s
When you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there are challenging moments that come from watching their personality and behavior change. As difficult as it is for you to see them struggle with this disease, it’s hard to imagine what your loved one is going through. Memory conditions like Alzheimer’s carry a heavy emotional toll on the older adults who are diagnosed with them. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia, there are ways you can emotionally support your loved one so they can reach a higher quality of life. Join us as we share some of the top ways to give emotional support to a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Work on Your Communication
It’s common for older adults with Alzheimer’s to have trouble communicating with others. Your loved one might have trouble finding the right words to express themselves or even following the natural flow of a conversation. These symptoms take an emotional toll on seniors with Alzheimer’s, because it can cause them to lose confidence and withdraw from social situations. However, there are communication strategies you can use to help minimize the emotional impact.
When you’re talking to someone with Alzheimer’s, try to:
- Speak slowly and work in simpler words and sentences.
- Use eye contact, hand gestures and facial expressions to help get your point across.
- Avoid sudden movements and standing too close to your loved one when talking to them.
- Talk to your loved one once a day to help them feel less isolated.
- Take time and listen to what your loved one is saying and acknowledge their feelings.
Help Your Loved One Maintain Confidence
Alzheimer’s causes older adults to lose confidence in themselves, since memory impairments have a major impact on their ability to be independent. As your loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease progresses, they might even feel that they’re no longer in control of their own life and distrust their own judgment. Part of what makes these symptoms so emotionally taxing for older adults with Alzheimer’s is how it lowers their self-esteem.
To help assuage these feelings, it’s important to offer praise and encouragement to your loved one with Alzheimer’s as often as you can. An easy way to work this into your routine is by asking your loved one about the various activities they did during the day. Ask them about the details and congratulate them on the tasks they were able to get done. This will help raise your loved one’s self-esteem, as your regular praise helps them realize the value they have in daily life. You can reinforce this feeling by being supportive and not criticizing any mistakes they make.
Join an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group
One of the best ways to offer emotional support to your loved one with Alzheimer’s is to gain a better understanding of what they’re going through by joining an Alzheimer’s/dementia support group. By doing this, you’ll gain more insight into what your loved one is going through and how their challenges are affecting your own well-being. In a support group, there will be other people who are ready to hear your stories and experiences without judgment. By taking care of your own emotional health with a support group, you’ll be able to provide higher-quality care for your loved one.
Help Your Loved One Transition to a Memory Care Community
As your loved one’s Alzheimer’s progresses, there might be a point where they need more specialized care than you can provide at home. That’s where memory care communities like the ones found at The Ridge Senior Living can help. The staff at a memory care community will start by taking the time to get to know your loved one on a personal level. After learning more about their unique challenges, they’ll be able to design a routine to help improve their physical, mental and emotional well-being.
When your loved one is a resident at a memory care community, they’ll also have access to a wide variety of enriching activities like music programs and exercise classes. This approach to Alzheimer’s/dementia care helps your loved one attain a more fulfilling lifestyle, while giving you peace of mind about the care they’re receiving.
Explore Premier Memory Care Near You
If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, The Ridge Senior Living can help them enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle. Our insightful approach to memory care focuses on celebrating what makes each resident unique by taking the time to learn about their meaningful past. Our Teepa Snow Positive Approach is built on offering compassionate responses to the challenges of memory conditions. Learn more about our specialized memory care programs like the Montessori Method of Music and Memory approach care communities by contacting us today.