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confusionA person with Alzheimer’s may not recognize familiar people, places, or things. He or she may forget relationships, call family members by other names, or become confused about where home is. A person may also forget the purpose of common items, such as a pen or a fork. These situations are extremely difficult for caregivers and families and require much patience and understanding.

How to respond

  • Stay calm. Although being called by a different name or not being recognized can be painful, try not to make your hurt apparent.
  • Respond with a brief explanation. Don’t overwhelm the person with lengthy statements or reasons. Instead, clarify with a simple explanation.
  • Show photos and other reminders. Use photographs and other thought-provoking items to remind the person of important relationships and places.
  • Offer corrections as suggestions. Avoid explanations that sound like scolding. Try “I thought it was a fork, “or “I think she is your granddaughter Julie.”
  • Try not to take it personally. Alzheimer’s disease causes your loved one to forget, but your support and understanding will continue to be appreciated.