Helping a family member with Alzheimer’s this holiday

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Spending time with family this holiday season can be challenging if one of your loved ones has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Now is the time to start planning with family and friends so they have the right expectations before visiting someone with memory loss.

The Alzheimer Association suggests meeting in a comfortable environment that doesn’t have too many distractions.

And, to encourage visitors to wear name tags, and talk to them in a clear and simple way.

Neil Petty says Alzheimer’s changed his mom’s behavior, so he had to change the way he interacts with her.

He said you have to listen more and not get upset when they don't remember something.

"Patience is the main thing and another thing to remember is nothing is really directed at you. It's the disease that has taken over the person,” said Petty. “Always be able to set your own feelings aside and try to feel what the person is feeling. Try to nudge them into ways that makes it easy for them to talk to you and visit with you."

Petty also suggests talking about the past instead of the present and bringing old photos or your loved one’s favorite food to your holiday get together.

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