Skip to main content

Image Magazine

Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease

Feb 20, 2011 05:32PM ● Published by Erin Frisch

Dr. Robert B. Santulli

Dr. Robert B. Santulli shares tips with families and caregivers

The following list of dos and don’ts for communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s disease should be helpful for the Alzheimer’s family. These tips are from The Alzheimer’s Family: Working with Caregivers to Help Them Cope (to be published later this year by W. W. Norton) by Dr. Robert B. Santulli of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

DO:

  1. Do use techniques to attract and maintain the person’s attention.
  2. Do make all communications short, simple, and clear.
  3. Do identify yourself to person with Alzheimer’s disease if there appears to be any doubt he or she knows who you are.
  4. Do call the person by name.
  5. Do speak slowly.
  6. Do use closed-ended questions that can be answered “Yes” or “No.”
  7. Do find a different way to say the same thing if it wasn’t understood the first time(s).
  8. Do use distraction, partial truths, or even “fiblets” when necessary if telling the whole truth will upset the person with dementia.
  9. Do use repetition as much as necessary.
  10. Do be aware that the tone in which something is said may be as important, or more important, than the actual content.
DON’T:
  1. Don’t ever say: Do you remember? Did you forget…? How could you not know that? Try to remember!
  2. Don’t ask questions that directly challenge short-term memory.
  3. Don’t talk in paragraphs.
  4. Don’t say anything that points out the person’s memory difficulty.
  5. Don’t talk in front of the person as if he or she were not present.
  6. Don’t use lots of pronouns.
  7. Don’t use slang, unfamiliar words, or jargon.
  8. Don’t use patronizing language or “baby talk.”
  9. Don’t use sarcasm, irony, or similar forms of banter.
  10. Don’t be impatient.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Image's free newsletter to catch every headline

Health+Wellness
  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/16/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Free Design Consultation!

    10/17/2017
    08:00AM — 04:00PM

    Free One Half Hour Design Consultation- This consultation allows for designers to meet with you t...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/17/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/17/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/18/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/18/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/18/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/20/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • A Doll's House

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/20/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/21/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/21/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • CHaD Hero Fundraiser

    10/22/2017
    09:00AM

    Register to run, walk, hike, bike, and raise money at CHaD HERO. You can even register for a Virt...


  • Plainfield Pumpkin People

    10/22/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For the sixth year in a row The Plainfield Pumpkin People will be popping up all over Plainfield...


  • Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of Eros

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition curated by American artist Eric...


  • Ready. Fire! Aim.

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    Ready. Fire! Aim. is a joint exhibition that will take place at the Hall Art Foundation in Readin...


  • David Shrigley

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    The Hall Art Foundation is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by British artist David ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • A Doll's House

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • Robert Frost: This Verse Business

    10/28/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    By A.M. Dolan Directed by Gus Kaikkonen October 5 – 28 For nearly fifty years, Robert Frost ...


  • A Doll's House

    10/29/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    A Doll’s House By Henrik Ibsen A new version by Robert Kropf Directed by Eric Bunge September...


  • Free Design Consultation!

    10/31/2017
    08:00AM — 04:00PM

    Free One Half Hour Design Consultation- This consultation allows for designers to meet with you t...


  • Over the Moon

    11/04/2017
    07:00PM

    OVER THE MOON is a fractured fairy tale that combines beloved childhood stories in a new, fresh a...


 

 


PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS


Northcape Design Build
Hanover Inn at Dartmouth
Ultimate Bath Store

Sean's Lawn N' Garden Services
Cabinetry Concepts
New London Inn & Coach House Restaurant