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How does Alzheimer’s affect you emotionally?

Someone with Alzheimer’s may experience less control over their feelings. One might even struggle with how to express them. Such changes in behavior can cause frustration. Therefore, one might be easily disturbed or aggressive towards others. However, this is due to the disease and considered a symptom, too.

Alzheimer’s patients are prone to rapid mood changes.

The new behavior makes it difficult for caregivers.

Table of Content
How to help Alzheimer’s patients with their emotions?
A word from the author
List of Resources
About the Author

How to help Alzheimer’s patients with their emotions?

Various things can be done as a caregiver, for example (1) be empathic, (2) listen to problems, (3) acknowledge their emotions, (4) help them express emotions, and (5) make a joke here and then.

Supporting someone with Alzheimer’s to express their emotions can help to decrease tension and frustration.

How to help Alzheimer’s patients with their emotions?
5 tips for caregivers
1. Be empathic. Try to understand how the person with Alzheimer’s feels in the situation. Even more so, try being compassionate.
2. Listen to problems. Do not just walk away, when they are frustrated about something. Figure out what exactly is causing the frustration. Observe and ask questions to figure it out.
3. Acknowledge their emotions. Realize the importance of the problems and what emotions they cause. There should be a sense of urgency to find a solution. Again be compassionate about it.
4. Help express emotions. Sometimes it can be difficult to name emotions. Or one might struggle to express them. Tell them how they might feel. This way they feel validated and helped, too.
5. Make a joke here and then. A good joke saves the day. Try to implement some funny ones. Frustrations can be put into another perspective this way. It is a way to cope.

Here I have a lovely story of a caregiver using a joke to clear the air in the room.

It was one of those lazy days. An Alzheimer’s patient could not cut paper with a scissor in the recreational classes of the nursing home. The old man stood up and shouted:

“What is this here? I am not in kindergarten!” At this point, everybody in the room stared at him. They were shocked.

Charles, a funny team member quickly reacted. “Well, we are not at the kindergarten, however, you seem to behave like a kid though!” A bad joke.

The old women in the first row were laughing. Charles walked over to the frustrated attendant.

He cut the piece and publicly announced: “There you have it. Next time you throw away the broken scissors.”

The old man started to smile. Seeming amused about what is going to happen. So, the old man walked to the paper toss.

‘Boom’, the scissor crash-landed.

Then, he turned around and said “Ah, there is the difference. A kid does not know when something is broken. But, we do!”

All elderly laughed and the day was saved.

A word from the author

Your beloved one may feel insecure or loses self-confidence. This is partly because of losing abilities to do everyday tasks.

The feeling of dependence is another cause to feel insecure about oneself, too.

You as a caregiver or family member might not be a direct witness when the individual feels this way.

However, it is important to help them voice all their concerns. This way you can provide help where it is needed most.

Sometimes it is not just about being incapable to perform a task.

Sometimes it is about the frustration that lays behind it.

Knowing that ability does not work as it should.

It makes you feel incapable.

Just make sure to not be a policeman and call them out on their mistakes.

This would increase those emotions even more. Show them that you accept them the way they are.

With all their mistakes and all their flaws.

List of Resources

Patric Pförtner

B. Sc. Psychology

Hi, my name is Patric Pfoertner and I graduated 2020 from the NBU. Currently, I work and study in Germany. My specialisations are Cognitive Psychology paired with a good slack of Clinical Psychology. Just this year I started publishing my research in the CBB Journal. Feel free to read about it at ResearchGate. Otherwise, click the other button to read my full CV.

About Author ResearchGate

P.S.: I am available for psychological consultation, too.