Fear and frustration are understandable and common!

Alzheimer’s is the most feared disease by people age 65 and older, and the second most feared disease (behind cancer) by people of all ages. People with dementia often act in ways that are outside of social norms. At times, it can be baffling why they do what they do, especially if, like most people, you have limited training about the illness. But once you learn about the disease, much more logic and many more strategies exist than you might have realized.

It can be highly frustrating to spend time with people who have memory loss, cognitive problems, Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Anyone in a close relationship is bound to get aggravated at the other person at times. But special dynamics are at play when one of the people has dementia. And special options can help shift the dynamic, so you express less meanness and feel less guilty.

Without a doubt, the pressure on family caregivers is sky high. It’s easy to see how worries and negative feelings accumulate over time as dementia progresses or worsens. When issues are not directly addressed, they are more likely to come out indirectly or sideways, like, by saying something mean.