Here are a few things to keep in mind if you'll be visiting someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia:
- Understand your feelings. It's important to admit and articulate to yourself and to other family members why you're stressed and upset.
- Manage your expectations. Although it sounds Scrooge-like, it's wise to hope for the best while preparing for the worst.
- Acknowledge the elephant in the room. Discuss with others you're close to the possibility that your relative with Alzheimer's or dementia may become sicker or even die. You might be surprised to learn that they've considered the same possibility.
- Educate yourself. Learn how people at various stages of Alzheimer's or dementia handle different levels of interaction and activity. Check with her caregiver to make sure you understand what's normal for your loved one.