It can be difficult to know the right words to say when a friend or family member tells you that they have a lifelong illness, such as Alzheimer's disease.
Do you tell them that everything will be ok? Talk about something else?
Let's talk about how you can be there for them.
Offer Help In Concrete Ways
Drive them to a doctor's appointment
Pick up groceries
Sit with them and listen when they need someone to talk to
Change How You Communicate
The way you talk to and with your loved one as the disease progresses will change. Here are some tips to help:
Let them know it's ok to feel how they are feeling
Listen with respect and compassion
Share good memories to help relax them
Use humor when appropriate
Allow plenty of time for your loved one to respond during conversations
What Not To Do
Don't shout at or talk really loudly to the person as if they were a child.
Don't pull away or avoid them. They need your friendship and support.
Don't talk about them like they aren't in the room. Speak directly to them.
Don't minimize their feelings. This can do more harm than good.
Don't give unsolicited advice. Instead, ask "How are you doing this week?"
What would be a good example of what you could say to a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's?
At least you don't have xyz...
How can I help you today?
Don't worry, it will be alright
I think that's what my grandma had
If you have a loved one that has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, here are a couple of resources to get more information on the disease and how you can help.
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