Easy Ways to show Respect and Dignity
A simple way to show dignity and respect for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is to stop discussing that person’s health and well-being with others while they listen quietly to the conversation. (They aren’t invisible, but may feel left out.) This is especially true for someone who is recently diagnosed and understands their circumstance quite well.
- Though the person with Alzheimer’s may have issues with speech, you never know how much that person y still understand. To have someone speak about him/her as though he wasn’t there can be demeaning.
- By the same token, don’t answer for them. Whether at a restaurant or the doctor’s office, if someone with Alzheimer’s is asked a question, allow them sufficient time to answer. ( Being in early stage Alzheimer’s myself, this is one of the most irritating things to me. Sometimes it takes me a moment to think clearly and respond. It is very embarrassing when someone constantly answers for me. I know I will need such help eventually. But as long as I can speak and make sense, allow me the extra moment to do so.)
- During visits to the doctor, allow them to take part in the conversation if they are able. If not, they may be included as a constant listener to the conversation.
Strive for patience when someone with Alzheimer’s behaves badly or becomes unruly, especially in a public place. Never see their behavior as a personal attack. As a caregiver, you must understand that occasionally they have no control over their own emotions.
- Remember when someone has Alzheimer’s, they have little control over their emotions or behavior at times. Their actions are often governed by the disease, they can’t be held accountable or scolded like an impertinent child.
- Remember when the person was healthy and vibrant, full of life, love and laughter--treat them like you would treat them if they were not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Accept and protect their physical limitations.
- If the Alzheimer’s patient is incontinent, make sure they are prepared with means of protection, or consider their preference. They may prefer to stay home rather than take a lengthy excursions.
- Avoid large crowds with much talking and loud noises as this is distracting and upsetting to the person with Alzheimer’s.
You might also like to read “10 Requests from an Alzheimer’s Patient” —
An anonymous author created this outstanding list of recommendations from the Alzheimer’s Patient’s perspective