Caregiver Tips: Late Stage Alzheimer’s Communication
Alzheimer’s disease is progressive, and each stage causes new symptoms. Recognizing these symptoms and learning how to respond can help reduce caregiver stress.
Memory loss can be frustrating and confusing for both the person experiencing the changes as well as his or her caregivers. It is important to know what to expect at each stage. Patience and understanding will be required.
In early stages, the person may be aware that something is wrong but may forget details, have trouble with recall, and have a hard time processing details. Late stage Alzheimer’s is far more pronounced. The person with memory loss may not recognize family members or close friends. Places and time, as well as the purpose of common items may get confused. These things can be difficult for family members to see, so knowing what to expect is vital so these developments aren’t shocking or taken personally.
Why does this happen?
Alzheimer’s causes damage to brain cells resulting in memory loss and other symptoms. This damage progresses over time as the person approaches and enters late stage Alzheimer’s disease. Currently available medications can lessen symptoms for a time, but they cannot stop the damage to brain cells.
What should you do?
- Take a deep breath. It is important to remain calm.
- If you are called by the wrong name or your loved one does not seem to remember you, do not take this personally. They are symptoms of a brain disease and not a reflection of his or her feelings toward you.
- If you want to gently remind your loved one of people and places in his or her life, use photos from the past.
- Use simple statements. Long explanations can be confusing. Short, gentle sentences work best when communicating with people who have memory loss.
- If your loved one is convinced that he or she is in a certain place or time, embrace that reality. Talk about where you are together and learn what he or she thinks is happening.
- Don’t argue. You can make suggestions about who someone might be or what something is, but don’t correct your loved one.
- Recognize when your loved one is tired. Allow them the rest they need and don’t force conversation.
Parc Provence Can Help
If you or a loved one is experiencing memory loss, Parc Provence can help. Our experienced staff provides assisted living services combined with proven care for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We also have a Medical Director on staff who is board certified in geriatrics and nationally recognized for his work in memory care.
Contact Parc Provence today to schedule a tour. See how our uniquely designed community feels like home with gorgeous, park-like courtyards and comfortable households. With activities, therapies, and more available right here every day our residents can live full lives with the support they need – because every moment matters.