We need to talk about Alzheimer’s.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in ten Americans have had a family member with Alzheimer’s. The disease damages pathways between the brain’s nerve cells, which may cause memory failure, personality changes and difficulty with daily activities. As it progresses, those with Alzheimer’s will require more assistance with daily living. A person’s ability to communicate may also be affected. Ongoing communication with your loved one is important, no matter how difficult it may become. While someone with Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia may not seem engaged in every conversation, he or she still requires your love and support. Here are some tips for communicating with an individual diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. DO be patient and reassuring. Having to correct and repeat information often can become frustrating, but try to practice 100% forgiveness and don’t take things personally. DON’T try to reason, argue or confront. Try going with the flow instead. You can redirect the person to a new subject or activity more easily by agreeing than you can by arguing. DO be aware of nonverbal communication. Your facial expressions, tone of voice, feelings and attitude will have a significant impact on your conversation. Use a gentle, lower pitch. DON’T ignore your friend or family member. Talk directly to him or her, even if they don’t seem engaged in the conversation. Avoid talking about them as if they weren’t there. Everyone deserves respect. DO use visual cues. Point or touch an item you want the individual to use, or demonstrate a task. Written notes could also be helpful. DON’T use complicated sentences or questions. Drawn-out requests can be overwhelming. If possible, provide the solution rather than the question. For example: “Here is some milk” instead of “Are you thirsty?” Stay involved! Join a support group, or follow @AlzChat on Twitter for weekly discussions about the care and challenges of living with Alzheimer’s. About 80% of our residents have been diagnosed with some form of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The team at Chestnut Ridge is committed to working with families to provide the best possible care. Your loved one is not alone. And neither are you. Do Not Ask Me to Remember Do not ask me to remember, Don’t try to make me understand, Let me rest and know you’re with me, Kiss my cheek and hold my hand. I’m confused beyond your concept, I am sad and sick and lost. All I know is that I need you To be with me at all cost. Do not lose your patience with me, Do not scold or curse or cry. I can’t help the way I’m acting, Can’t be different though I try. Just remember that I need you, That the best of me is gone, Please don’t fail to stand beside me, Love me ’til my life is done. – Owen...

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Meet Maggie, age 86.

Meet Maggie, age 86.

Maggie was doing well in her daughter’s home until she broke her hip. Since then, her needs for pain management, routine physical assistance and medical treatment were beyond the family’s abilities. She is only expected to need our support for a few weeks before she returns home. For now, Maggie looks forward to our daily 3 p.m. Chat & Chew at the juice bar, playing bingo on Fridays and never missing a trivia challenge. She also enjoys monthly salon appointments right here at Chestnut...

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Meet John, age 88.

Meet John, age 88.

John is living with cancer, surrounded by friends who interact with him daily and a team that provides personal care. He makes the most of each day, enjoying cooking classes and spending time relaxing on the patio. John loves our library and his spacious apartment with peaceful views. Our mobile diagnostics and on-site physician ensure that his ongoing monitoring and medical needs are at the forefront of his care.

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Meet Sarah, age 73.

Meet Sarah, age 73.

Sarah is a passionate musician with early onset dementia. She played with a symphony orchestra for 35 years and lights up when our entertainers perform. Sarah’s family is delighted with the level of safety, security, memory-building and team support of our Homestead community, which is designed to care for people like her. Sarah’s family visits every Saturday, always stays for dinner and tells us every week how much they love and appreciate the care and attention we show to our...

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Meet Reggie, age 90.

Meet Reggie, age 90.

Don’t let Reggie fool you. He’s vibrant and is still working part-time and never missing our socials or outings. Reggie lives independently and benefits from daily prompting to take his insulin and check his blood sugar. He thrives with daily socialization and has developed close friendships with other Chestnut Ridge residents. Reggie likes to go up to the 8th floor every day after lunch to play pool with his cousin Fred, who shares an independent living apartment next...

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