This Is What I’ve Learned Loving Someone With Alzheimer’s


Be Patient.

I know those violent outbursts are not easy to witness. I know the repetitive questions are annoying to answer. So many times have you wanted to yell back or respond irritably. I am most definitely guilty of it; but the most important thing you can do for yourself and your loved one is to approach them with loving, open arms.

Refrain from using an irritable tone when answering a question you have probably answered thousands time before. Logical reasoning and judgement has gone completely out the window, so don’t get upset at them. Focus on their actions and feelings, not the facts.

Understand that your loved one is still there, somewhere. It may not seem like it some days, or maybe not AT ALL but I promise you they are. I know my dad is.

Show Love.

Love your loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

Remind yourself that your loved one feels lost in this world, confused about who they are as an individual. Hold on for your loved ones, hold onto things they cannot seem to hold on to. Be the light that brightens their path to guide them through this difficult journey. Show your loved one that nothing has changed and do not let this illness overshadow who they are. For me, I know my father is still the same man who will lie down his life for me.

But don’t forget to love yourself as well. Understand your physical and mental limitations. Reach out to your family, friends, local Alzheimer’s Association chapter, or support groups to ask for help if needed. You are doing the best that you can, remember that.

Love the life you are in despite all odds.

Remember for them.

Remember for your loved ones. Make memories against time and capture your moments together. I used to think that I could go on a monumental road trip with my dad, but as the disease progressed and life happened, it became more of an impossible reality. I have learned that making memories doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, it can be anything. A simple walk in the park, a short Christmas shopping trip, or a visit with extended family is sometimes all you need.

Remember who your loved one used to be and keep those memories close to your heart. But also remember to love them for who they are in the present because the present is our only reality.