Community Blog

6 Misconceptions About Loved Ones with Alzheimer's Disease or Dementia

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Home Care in Helena MT

Home Care in Helena MTIf you're just learning about Alzheimer's disease or dementia, you may not be aware of some of the misconceptions that other people can have about your loved one. Learning about these can help you to educate the other people in your loved one's life.

She's Confused All the Time

Sometimes people think that someone with dementia or Alzheimer's is confused all of the time. This isn't true, especially in the earlier stages of both conditions. Even in the advanced stages, it's possible that your loved one has quite a few lucid times. It's important that you and other loved ones learn how to interact with your loved one both when she's lucid and when she is having a confused time.

You Can Ignore Her for the Most Part

Often visitors might think that because your loved one has Alzheimer's or dementia, they don't need to acknowledge her or pay much attention to her when they visit. The problem is that your loved one is still there and she's still a person, so she deserves to be treated like a person. If people are ignoring your loved one, gently call their attention to the fact that she can still carry on a conversation with them and have a nice visit.

You Don't Need to Use Her Name

Another common misconception is that your loved one doesn't really know her own name anymore. Often people tend to use terms of endearment instead, such as "sweetie" or "honey." Using your loved one's name is an important connection to who she is and can help to give her an anchor, even during her less lucid times. Your loved one has a name or a title, and it can make a big difference to her when people use them.

You Can Talk Around Her

Many people believe that someone with dementia or Alzheimer's can't answer questions about herself or her condition for herself. So they'll resort to talking around her and asking questions of other people about your loved one. Your loved one is very likely to notice this, especially if she's in a lucid phase. It's one of those situations that can become awkward and uncomfortable, especially if your loved one doesn't want to offend anyone.

She's Choosing to Behave the Way She Is

Alzheimer's and dementia affect your loved one's brain and can cause her to act and react in ways that even she doesn't expect. Some people even find that their loved ones experience big changes to their personalities. This isn't something that your loved one is choosing, but that can be difficult for people to remember, especially when your loved one does something out of character.

She Won't Know Loved Ones Are Not Visiting

Many people believe that your loved one won't notice if they stop visiting or calling. The assumption
is, of course, that since your loved one's memory isn't so great, it's not a big deal. Your loved one does remember these kinds of things, though, and it can hurt her feelings when other family members stop visiting or calling.

If you need help resolving any of these types of situations for your elderly loved one, talk with her home care providers. They have a lot of experience helping loved ones to work around these types of problems and they can help you find creative solutions.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Helena, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438 - 2231.