Alzheimer’s patients can sometimes suffer from violent mood swings, fits of rage, temper tantrums and a variety of other unpleasant things. These patients have no control over their behaviors because the disease affects the pathways in the brain, causing the patients to act out of character. It’s of the utmost importance to be grounded, to not judge them and to realize that the disease is the cause of inappropriate actions, not the individuals themselves.
Alzheimer’s patients are still people. They may not act in a rational manner, but they respond to humor and support just like anyone else would. Make sure to be kind to Alzheimer’s sufferers. Ask them about their memories. It’s even okay to joke with them.
Make your rounds a routine for the Alzheimer’s patient. Whether you’re giving them medication or helping them to the bathroom, use your time with the patient to give their life a sense of structure. Structure and routine are very important for all patients with dementia. Patients often become more disoriented when their routine is out of the ordinary. Although it’s understandably difficult to keep a “normal” routine in a hospital setting, each time you enter the room explain to the patient exactly what you’re going to do and when you will be back next.
Always try to know the whereabouts of your Alzheimer’s patient if somebody can’t be with them at all times, because they tend to wander and can even get lost if they’re not familiar with their surroundings.
Most of all, keep your professional demeanor about you. Dealing with an Alzheimer’s sufferer can be like dealing with a two-year-old. You aren’t going to win any arguments, and you aren’t going to persuade them with logic. Be positive and upbeat. Smile, love them, be their support. Being out of control of their actions and having memory loss are sure to be scary for them.