When someone you love begins showing signs of dementia, it’s important to help that person feel safe and calm. Good communication is an effective tool in curbing agitation and other behavioral problems that go along with memory impairment, says Morgen Hartford, a social worker who works with families as a programs manager at the Tucson-based Desert Southwest chapter of the national Alzheimer’s Association.
Keep reminding yourself to exercise compassion, empathy, and patience, Hartford says. If you become frustrated, take a time out for yourself. “Know that they may not remember going to the grocery store and you will have to tell them again and again,” he says.