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Specialized Alzheimer's Care & Support

10 Principles of Communication

Excerpt of “Becoming an Alzheimer’s Whisperer©" by Verna Carson & K.J. Vanderhost in the August 2009 CARING magazine

1. Use the five minute rule. Remember that a person in middle stage Alzheimer’s disease has only five minutes of short-term memory. If you say or do something that agitates a person with Alzheimer’s disease, walk away for 5-6 minutes, then return with a different response. It is as if your first action was erased from the person’s memory, and you are starting over with a clean slate!

2. Validate feelings and emotions behind the words.

3. Avoid reasoning and arguing to make a point – no one wins an argument with someone with Alzheimer’s disease!

4. Maintain a calm approach as well as a calm atmosphere.

5. Maintain eye contact and approach the person from the front. Peripheral vision is gone in middle stage Alzheimer’s disease.

6. Enter the person’s reality.

7. Avoid quizzing – it only leads to frustration!

8. Be aware of non-verbal behavior – your own as well as the individual with Alzheimer’s disease.

9. Banish “Don’t you remember?” from your communication repertoire.

10. Use gestures and encourage one step at a time in all activities.

Is your mother, father or loved one showing signs of memory loss/Alzheimer’s disease?

Are you concerned about their safety while home alone?

Have they been recently hospitalized due to a fall or for forgetting to take their medication?

If so, please call us today. We’re specially-trained in Alzheimer’s care and will provide you with expert resources and caregiver tools to help you better understand the changes your loved one is experiencing. We can help you be prepared for some of the difficult challenges often associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

We’ll work with you, your physician and the Area Agency on Aging to develop an individualized person-centered care plan that provides the help you need to care for your loved one. Thousands of Central Pennsylvanian families CHOOSE Home Nursing Agency every year for our commitment and capability to deliver the highest quality of specialized care and support during life’s most difficult and challenging journeys.

We know HOME is where people want to be most… With nearly 45 years of experience, we’re committed to helping individuals remain at home for as long as possible, and offering support to you – the caregiver. Because of Home Nursing Agency’s unique network of services, you also have 24/7 access to the agency’s Customer Contact Center for coordination of medical care should the need arise.