Alzheimer’s and dementia is a disease that can cause an individual to act differently and become aggressive, anxious, forgetful or confused. The Treatment Advocacy Center explains that some people with Alzheimer’s can also have Anosognosia, “A symptom of severe mental illness experienced by some that impair a person’s ability to understand and perceive his or her illness.” You may have noticed increased forgetfulness or confusion in an elderly loved one but, when you try to talk to them about your concerns, they become defensive and deny anything wrong. This can make it difficult for family members to remember who their loved ones once were before the disease commenced. However, this does not mean that it is okay to treat them as a child and deserves to be treated as an adult. It is the little things that can make a difference for the person receiving care to feel respected while maintaining their dignity. Here are a few ways to maintain the dignity of the memory care population.
It is common for family members and caregivers to overlook how they choose to speak and act around adults with Alzheimer’s. The most important thing to remember when caring with dignity is to use positive language and behaviors around a loved one. There is a strong desire to be treated with respect. Here are some ways to do just that:
- Close the door when you help him or her dress or use the bathroom.
- Knock before opening a closed door.
- Don’t discuss confidential information with other people, even family members, without their permission.