It can be difficult to explain a situation to someone with Alzheimer's disease. Confusion and paranoia slow down any and every process. Even when I carefully worded an explanation, it often ended in the wrong result. Billie Jean would misunderstand me, or pick up on my frustration, and refuse to do what I asked.
|Smiles, a positive tone of voice and happy manner can|
coax a person with dementia into doing what is needed.
Instead of explaining that we had to go to the dentist — a tough trip on a good day — if I acted as if it was a given, I could more easily make it happen. In this case, I would handle brushing Billie's teeth long before the appointment.
Later, when it was time to leave the house, I would gather keys, or a jacket for both of us and cheerfully say "Are you ready to go, Billie? I am!" Big smiles and no hint of worry made her a willing participant.
"Sure, let's go!" she answered.
Challenges can range from eating lunch to getting in the car. If you wait for a good day, you may never get where you need to go. Don't spend time trying to reason and coax, just put on your smile and say, "Come on, it's time to go" then start walking.
We used this method successfully for a very long time during the disease. It felt like play-acting sometimes, but because every effort was to benefit Billie, it was easy to do.
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