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The 10 Absolutes of Caregiving for Alzheimer’s Patients

At SYNERGY HomeCare, we know that caring for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia takes an endless amount of patience. Professional caregivers are trained to handle difficult situations and respond to the varying moods of their clients – but family caregivers usually have no previous experience to draw on.

Jo Huey, an Alzheimer’s caregiver for over 30 years, has created what she calls “The 10 Absolutes of Alzheimer’s Caregiving.” She shares more stories of her experiences in her book “Alzheimer’s Disease: Help and Hope.”  The 10 Absolutes provide practical yet compassionate strategies for family caregivers to implement that are based on her personal experience. We hope you find some of these helpful.

  1. Never argue, instead agree.

  2. Never reason, instead divert.

  3. Never shame, instead distract.

  4. Never say “you can’t,” instead say “do what you can.”

  5. Never command or demand, instead ask or model.

  6. Never condescend, instead encourage and praise.

  7. Never say “remember,” instead reminisce.

  8. Never say “I told you,” instead repeat.

  9. Never lecture, instead reassure.

  10. Never force, instead reinforce.

In a nutshell; be understanding, attuned, and constantly aware of your loved one’s condition. It may be difficult to remember at times, but their mentally deteriorated state is not really “them,” and their misconceptions due to their condition are not their fault.

Though more difficult in practice than in theory, when caregiving for Alzheimer’s patients – it always helps to remember the golden rule.