Coping, when loved ones with Alzheimer's no longer remember

Cover Image
Photo credit Ocskaymark/Getty

Kansas City, MO - It's the words that no family want to hear, Alzheimer's disease. One in three over the age of 85 are suffering right now. So, when it comes to love ones understanding what to say, and what not say to someone with memory loss, it can be a challenge. Dr Jeffrey Burns, co-director of the University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Center says it's important to keep talking, but you should make adjustments in your approach.

"Putting in little prompts and reminders and not putting expectations on them to produce memories. It's better to allow them to acknowledge something happened as opposed to asking them to comment on it," explains Dr Burns. 

There are tools that can help make interactions a positive experience. Pets or even electronic pets can comfort an Alzheimer's patient. He also suggests music and physical activity to stimulate the mind.

As the disease advances, your loved one may no longer remembers who you are. Dr Burns says it's okay to give them the prompts they need, reminding them of your relationship but not quizzing them. 

Dr Burns feels that the future is bright in Alzheimer's research. He says finding a cure is not a matter of if, but when. He thinks a cure is possible within the next decade.