Maintaining a connection with an Alzheimer’s patient


May 18, 2011

Families who are caring for a patient with Alzheimer's disease often feel that they are losing a loved one to the condition, but reports that there are some strategies that one can use to still maintain a connection, even during the final stages of the illness. 

Try helping the person pursue interests and hobbies they used to enjoy, or just work on a puzzle together. Any activity – no matter how simple – can help keep a patient active and engaged. This extra stimulation, as well as the companionship, can be invaluable.

"You might see their eyes light up," Beth Kallmyer of the Alzheimer's Association told the news provider. "They may be able to smile, make a joke, engage you in a way that surprises you."

Those who are concerned for the safety of an Alzheimer's patient may also want to consider installing an elderly alert system throughout a home, because this device enables users to immediately send a personal emergency response message to a call center if assistance is required.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that there are currently 5.4 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer's disease across the country, with nearly 15 million caregivers overseeing them.