Persons with AD and other dementia generally are not intentionally difficult, irrational, stubborn, or angry. They simply cannot explain their needs or frustrations as they once could. Sometimes a person with Alzheimer’s becomes angry when they feel out of control or when they are asked to do more than they can handle. Assume that persons with Alzheimer’s are distressed by their loss of control and independence. They need help, support, guidance and validation of their emotional feelings.
Persons with AD and other dementias are adults and must be treated with dignity and respect at all times. Treating adults like children only makes things worse for everyone, especially persons with dementia, who are very sensitive to tone of voice and body language. They can “read” your gritted teeth, anger, impatience, rolling of your eyes, or shaking your head or a finger at them. Persons with dementia are more cooperative and trusting when they feel competent, successful, and understood

The Ten Absolutes

  1.  Never argue; instead agree
  2. Never shame; instead distract
  3. Never say remember; instead reminisce
  4. Never say “you can’t”; instead say “do what you can”
  5. Never condescend; instead encourage and praise
  6. Never reason; instead divert
  7. Never lecture; instead reassure
  8. Never say “I told you”; instead repeat
  9. Never command or demand; instead ask or model
  10. Never force; instead reinforce

Blue Flower

Judy Berry

Winner - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders Award