Ever since your mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you’ve had to learn a lot. Undeniably, the disease is new to your whole family, and you’re unsure what to do or not to do. One of your biggest hurdles is knowing how to hear your mom. Knowing how to listen and respond to her can prevent much of her frustration.
Don’t Interrupt Her
Even if she’s repeating something you’ve heard her say 18 times already, let her say it. Don’t interrupt her. Since if you do, she’ll become frustrated and is more likely to lash out at you. If she doesn’t lash out, it may cause her to retreat from any social activities.
When she’s struggling to find a word, please don’t rush to fill in the gaps for her. Give her time to come up with the words on her own. Otherwise, only step in if she asks for help or gets angry or upset with herself.
Answer Calmly Time After Time
No matter how often your mom asks you a question, answer it like it’s the first time she’s asked you. If she’s asked you if you’ve heard this news story, she’s ready. Answer honestly.
What if that news story is distressing her? When she becomes distracted by something else, you could remove the newspaper and put it where she won’t find it.
Use Simple Language
When you talk to your mom, her language comprehension skills will diminish. As soon as possible, learn to simplify your language with her. Short sentences and phrases are better than complex ones. She’ll get frustrated if you get too complex as her skills disappear.
Play Language Boosting Games Together
Work on games that help her retain language skills. If possible, get grandkids to join in. Games like Memory that help with picture/word recognition are beneficial. In the earlier stages, you could also play games like Apples to Apples to help her with reading and word comprehension.
What If You Don’t Understand What She’s Saying?
Don’t tell her that what she said didn’t make sense. White lies are appropriate. Say something like, “That’s interesting.” It’s generic, but it shows you understood, and sometimes that’s all she will need.
Support Yourself and Your Mom With Around-the-Clock Caregivers
Furthermore, as the disease progresses, ensure you’re supporting your mom and yourself. If you try to take on too much, you’ll burn out. With home care, your mom is never alone, and you’re free to live your life. You don’t have to move in with your mom, quit your job, or move back to your hometown.
Arrange home care services today. Have a team of caregivers help your mom with everything she needs to stay safe. Finally, when you visit, you’ll be able to focus on her.