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Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Convince an Alzheimer's Patient


Dotty never knew she had Alzheimer's. In the beginning when I was trying to explain this to her one of three things happened -- she became angry and said mean things to me, she started crying, or she went into the bedroom and wouldn't come out.

By +Bob DeMarco 
+Alzheimer's Reading Room


How to Convince an Alzheimer's Patient They Need Help?

The search string above caught my attention.

Then, I noticed that the keyword search came in from a person connected to the Internet via Google Wi-Fi. Meaning, it was likely they were coming in from Google. I tried sometime ago to get a networked introduction into Google -- without success.

The person searching for an answer to their question was clearly determined and sophisticated because h/she searched across several pages on the Alzheimer's Reading Room until they landed on


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I asked myself --


Can you actually convince someone suffering from Alzheimer's disease that they need help? Is it possible to do? 

I am assuming in this case that the person suffering from dementia refuses to believe they need help.

I then thought to myself, what would be easier to do?

To try and convince someone that was suffering from Alzheimer's and didn't believe it that they needed help; or, to bang my head against a concrete wall one hundred times?
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Dotty never knew she had Alzheimer's.

In the beginning when I was trying to explain this to her one of three things happened -- she got angry and start hurling mean verbal barbs at me, she started crying, or she went into the bedroom and wouldn't come out.

I ended up feeling sad, frustrated, and with a sick stomach. It isn't easy being purple.

Obviously, I was able to get her to the doctor and after many months received the diagnosis. However, I know from previous emails that someone with a strong will can refuse to go to the doctor. It takes some technique to get them there.

Perhaps some of you have insight, advice, or first hand experience on what a person "might do" or "might try" when they find themselves looking for an answer to the question above.

Remember, be kind and helpful.

You never know -- your advice might make a big difference in the life of a soon to be Alzheimer's caregiver.

My guess is that many thousands of Alzheimer's caregivers have asked this question.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room