The following tips are provided by the Alzheimer’s Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. ©2013 Alzheimer’s Association, reused with permission.
A person with Alzheimer’s may become suspicious of those around them, even accusing others of theft, infidelity or other improper behavior. Use these tips to help manage the situation:
- Don’t take offense. Listen to what is troubling the person, and try to understand that reality. Then be reassuring, and let the person know you care.
- Don’t argue or try to convince. Allow the individual to express ideas. Acknowledge his or her opinions.
- Offer a simple answer. Share your thoughts with the individual, but keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm the person with lengthy explanations or reasons.
- Switch the focus to another activity. Engage the individual in an activity, or ask for help with a chore.
- Duplicate any lost items. If the person is often searching for a specific item, have several available. For example, if the individual is always looking for his or her wallet, purchase two of the same kind.
- Share your experience with others. Join ALZConnected, the Alzheimer’s Association online support community and message boards, and share what response strategies have worked for you and get more ideas from other caregivers.