Always approach the person from the front, or within his/her line of vision – no surprise appearances;
Speak in a normal tone of voice and greet the person as you would anyone else;
Face the person as you talk to him/her;
Minimize hand movements that approach the other person;
Avoid a setting with a lot of sensory stimulation, like a big room where many people may be sitting or talking, a high-traffic area or a very noisy place;
Maintain eye contact and smile. A frown will convey negative feeling s to a person;
Be respectful of the person’s personal space and observant of his/her reaction as you move closer. Maintain a distance of one to one and a half feet initially;
If a person is a pacer, walk with him/her, in step with him/her while you talk;
Use distraction if a situation looks like it may get out of hand. A couple of examples are: if the person is about to hit someone of if he/she is trying to leave the home/facility.
Use a low-pitched, slow speaking voice which older adults hear best;
Ask only one question at a time. More than one question will increase confusion;
Repeat key words if the person does not understand the first time around;
Nod and smile only if what the person said is understood.
The Alzheimer’s patient:
DEFINITION: A disease described by a German Physician Alois Alzheimer in 1907. A gradual decline in areas of intellectual ability accompanied by physical declination: where the nerve cells, which carry out all the tasks of thinking, remembering, feeling emotion, directing body movements, which look like little trees with many branches begin to disease and gradually fall off. These nerve cells will then stop receiving messages from the brain and eventually loose total ability of functioning a normal life of activities, which has been learned over the years.