Talking to Alzheimers: Simple Ways To Connect When You Visit with a Family Member or Friend by Claudia J. Strauss. Alzheimer's can have a devastating impact on a patient's close relationships and all too often, family members and friends feel so uncomfortable that they end up dreading visits, or simply give up trying to stay in contact with the patient. This audiobook offers a wealth of practical things you can do to stay connected with the Alzheimer's patient in your life. This book was released in 2002 in paperback and released by Spoken Word Inc. in 2014. You can find it on (Website hidden).

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Vocal Characteristics



Voice Age

Middle Aged (35-54)


North American (General)


Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
introduction. This book came out of a need I saw when visiting people in a locked unit. I found that I wasn't sure how to handle a number of situations and that there wasn't really any where I could go to get answers and advice. I also noticed how few visitors came and how they seem to be struggling with these same things. I could see that visits were important and beneficial not only to the person being visited, but to the visitor. And it occurred to me that it was not only pain at seeing loved ones in the situation, but the very real discomfort at not knowing what to do or what to say that kept people from visiting frequently at length or at all. I wondered what could be done about it. I wondered if there was anything I could dio over a period of months. I saw that there were training sessions for employees that were extensive and thorough, but no such programs for family and friends. There were support groups which play a critical role, but I knew from experience that report relationship openness and results oriented work all take a long time to develop in a group in groups, a cycle of silence inventing needs to be gone through before real work and start and logistics usually dictate that support groups meet just once a month. Thus a lot of time will elapse before a group moves from soft help too hard hands on help. After a year or so, I came to the conclusion that visitors could benefit from something more immediate, something ready available to consult something they could serve as a resource on the types of situations they were encountering and could anticipate encountering. I spoke to people who work with Alzheimer's patients and to people who visit family members. They felt strongly that there was a need for such a resource and encouraged me to take on the project. This book is what resulted. How do you use this book? This book is not designed to be read cover to cover. It is organized in several different ways so that you can access information in the way most comfortable for you. For example, if you want an overview of do's and don't go to Chapter four, if you are looking for suggestions on how to handle uncomfortable questions and demands that are thrown at you go to Chapter three if there are questions you have about specific types of situations, such as how to handle repetition, how to get a conversation going, how to say no without creating a calamity, how to preserve everyone's dignity, how to know when to correct versus when to accept etcetera. Go to Chapter two. There are also sections on how to take care of yourself, how to help your Children become comfortable about visiting and how to get started. Chapter one is about the last of these. I think it is the most important part of this book. It talks about tapping into all your life experience. It talks about trusting your intuition, your common sense, your innate sense of decency and the love and care you feel for the person you visit. When the visit is enjoyable for you and you walk out feeling refreshed, you will know that that person you visited enjoyed the experience to. That's what it's all about. I would welcome suggestions and comments. An important note, though the topic is visits and the setting is assisted living and the focus is on people struggling with Alzheimer's disease. Those words are just a convenient way to keep things simple and not muddy up the works. The visit a visit does not have to take place away from home. It can take place at home. What's important is the visit itself. You could be going to visit someone. Someone can be coming to visit you. This is the way we usually see a visit. But a visit can also be an interaction with a loved one who lives in the same house with you. Most of us like visits. We look forward to them. We anticipate good food, good company people who love us and are interested in US conversations that are comfortable and relaxing. The sharing of interesting bits of news, the pleasure of creating an enjoyable evening for friends, or the enjoyment of going out with others to a concert movie, dinner, sporting event, order shop visits feel natural. They include people and make people feel included. They're warm and humanizing. When we visit, we focus on the person we're with. We each expect to enjoy the time together. If you're caring for a loved one at home, much of your time is spent just keeping up with daily living your needs, his needs, household chores and the job that pays the bills. A lot of communication or attempts at communication take place along the way. Unfortunately, much of it is not quality communication. But if you can stop for a few minutes several times a day and think of your interaction as a visit and your communication as a conversation, you will find that something special will happen. There will be a different kind of connection and a chance for both of you to feel restored. Maybe not the first time or even the fifth time, but with practice. And by choosing the ideas in this book that work for you, you will be able to create. Oasis is in the day for both of you. The setting. If that's the case, why do I talk about assisted living environments? First of all, because this is the time in your lives when communication becomes more difficult. Secondly, because there are some special issues that arise both for the person who stays and for the person who leaves. Finally, because there hasn't been as much focus on these issues for family members as there has been for professionals much of what is here will be of help. Whether you are visiting with someone at home or visiting someone living in a group setting. They're different stages to this disease and care and independent living become increasingly difficult. So once people reach the middle stages, it is often the case that they will be living in an assisted living setting, usually a secure unit, but don't feel locked into the concept of stages. People are very complex, and our minds air complex, too. Not only will the disease tend to attack some areas of the brain and not others, but it may not have a complete hold of those areas it is in. Plus, the brain can sometimes compensate by shifting tasks elsewhere. This means that from moment to moment you might find certain abilities re emerging for a time. Words, ideas, ability to understand, emotional control only resurfaced sometimes before sinking again. Sometimes people can shift several times during a single visit between earlier and later stages, and we, as visitors need to shift with them, not just Alzheimer's disease. Problems with communication, memory awareness and sense of time and place can happen after a stroke as a complication after surgery as a symptom of Parkinson's disease and in a number of other situations. Much of what is suggested in this book can be used in a variety of living situations, at home, in a retirement community in assisted living in a nursing home. And it doesn't matter how the memory problems started. Much of what is suggested in this book can be helpful after stroke after surgery and as Parkinson's progresses. Communication in this book visiting is not just what you dio, it's how you do it, and communication is more than a transfer of information. It is the forming of a connection that includes heart and soul thought and feeling. What transforms an interaction into a visit and a communication into conversation is a simple as your state of mind. Visit and visiting are not the only words I'd like to explain. Everyone who reads this book has a special person to visit. For some of you, it's apparent for some a grand parent. For others of you, it could be a sister, a brother, a cousin, an aunt, an uncle, a friend. Sometimes the person you're visiting is male, sometimes female, So I decided to honor these differences. Sometimes I talk about his concerns or actions, sometimes about her questions or demands, sometimes about their joys and sorrows. There is no particular reason for when I chose one or the other. I've just tried to balance the amount of times I use each. The kinds of issues, experiences and struggles that Alzheimer's disease raises do not come with a gender bias.