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stage Alzheimer’s disease by nurturing a personal connection with them through the

following methods:

  • Tap into the person’s senses. Learn about the person’s history to generate ideas for tapping into the person’s senses. Was the individual a gardener? Perhaps she would enjoy the smell of fresh cut flowers or herbs. Does the person love animals? He might find pleasure in stroking a dog or cat that is appropriate for patient visits. Those who enjoy the outdoors might enjoy bird watching. Music that represents an enjoyable time in the person’s life or an ethnic or spiritual tradition can be a comforting way to communicate through sound. The key is to find a way to tap into the senses of the individual by paying attention to the person’s unique qualities.

  • Use touch. Simply holding a person’s hand or providing a gentle massage can communicate reassurance and caring to a person with late-stage Alzheimer’s.

  • Speak in a soothing tone. Even if the person with late-stage Alzheimer’s can no longer understand what you are saying, speaking in a gentle, soothing tone of voice can provide comfort and a feeling of safety. Similarly, the rhythm of reading to the person can be relaxing, even if the individual does not understand what you are reading.

Providing Support and Information to Caregivers and Families

When an individual enters the late stage of Alzheimer’s disease, the person’s

primary caregiver – often a spouse or adult child – and other family members are faced

with some difficult decisions. Keep in mind that there often are no clear-cut answers to

many of these decisions, but as a health care professional, you can assist family members

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