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I realized I'd just broken one of the cardinal rules for interacting with a person who has dementia. When relating to a person with Alzheimer's, there are many guidelines to follow. I'm going to discuss five of the most basic ones here: 1 Don't tell them they are wrong about something, 2 Don't argue with them, 3 Don't ask if they remember something, 4 Don't remind them that their spouse, parent or other loved one is dead, and 5 Don't bring up topics that may upset them.

Don't Tell Them They're Wrong About Something : To let the person save face, it's best not to contradict or correct them if they say something wrong. There's no good reason to do that.

SAT Alzheimer's Summit - Don't Miss the 'Happy Bus' (2017)

If they're alert enough, they'll realize they made a mistake and feel bad about it. Even if they don't understand their error, correcting them may embarrass or be otherwise unpleasant for them. Don't Argue With the Person: It's never a good idea to argue with a person who has dementia. First of all, you can't win. And second, it will probably upset them or even make them angry.

I learned a long time ago, when caring for my beloved Romanian soul mate, Ed, the best thing to do is simply change the subject -- preferably to something pleasant that will immediately catch their attention. That way, they'll likely forget all about the disagreement. Don't Ask if They Remember Something: When talking with a person who has Alzheimer's, it's so tempting to ask them if they remember some person or event.

Do you remember him? Otherwise, they wouldn't have a diagnosis of dementia. It could embarrass or frustrate them if they don't remember. It's better to say, "I remember that we had candy the last time I was here. It was delicious. Don't Remind the Person that a Loved One Is Dead : It's not uncommon for people with dementia to believe their deceased spouse, parent or other loved one is still alive. They may be confused or feel hurt that the person doesn't come to visit.

If you inform them that the person is dead, they might not believe it and become angry with you. If they do believe you they'll probably be very upset by the news.

One Thing Alzheimer's Sufferers Don't Forget About Is Sex

What's more, they're likely to soon forget what you said and go back to believing their loved one is still alive. An exception to this guideline is if they ask you if the person is gone. Then it's wise to give them an honest answer, even if they will soon forget it, and then go on to some other topic. If you don't see eye-to eye on politics, for example, don't even bring it up. It may just kindle an argument, which goes again the second guideline above. So there you go.

A few guidelines for visiting. I hope these will be helpful to you in visiting your loved one and enriching the time you have together. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you.

What You Should Know About Alzheimer’s Disease

And there's hope that someday there will be a cure. You probably know that your brain works by sending signals. Chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters say: nur-oh-TRANS-mih-terz , allow brain cells to talk to each other. But a person with Alzheimer disease has lower amounts of neurotransmitters. People with Alzheimer disease also develop deposits of stuff protein and fiber that prevent the cells from working properly. When this happens, the cells can't send the right signals to other parts of the brain.

Over time, brain cells affected by Alzheimer disease also begin to shrink and die.

Lots of research is being done to find out more about the causes of Alzheimer disease. There is no one reason why people get it. Older people are more likely to get it, and the risk increases the older the person gets.

“Please Don’t Forget Me”

And women are more likely to get it than men. Researchers also think genes handed down from family members can make a person more likely to get Alzheimer disease. But that doesn't mean everyone related to someone who has it will get the disease.

Other things may make it more likely that someone will get the disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Down syndrome, or having a head injury. On the positive side, researchers believe exercise, a healthy diet, and taking steps to keep your mind active like doing crossword puzzles may help delay the start of Alzheimer disease.

20 Things To Remember If You Love Someone With Dementia

This starts to affect a person's daily life. He or she may forget where the grocery store is or the names of family and friends. This stage may last for some time or get worse quickly, causing more severe memory loss and forgetfulness. It can be hard for a doctor to diagnose Alzheimer disease because many of its symptoms like memory problems can be like those of other conditions affecting the brain. The doctor will talk to the patient, find out about any medical problems the person has, and will examine him or her.

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The doctor can ask the person questions or have the person take a written test to see how well his or her memory is working. They can study these images and look for signs of Alzheimer disease. When a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer disease, the doctor may prescribe medicine to help with memory and thinking. The doctor also might give the person medicine for other problems, such as depression sad feelings that last a long time.