"As an Alzheimer's caregiver, you may be your loved one's most powerful voice. Make decisions for your loved one that ensure respect, dignity and comfort until the end of life.By Mayo Clinic staff
Create advance directives
Focus on comfort, not life extension
Consider hospice or palliative care
- Has lost the ability to communicate in any meaningful way
- Can no longer walk without assistance
- Has at least one dementia-related medical complication, such as aspiration pneumonia, urinary tract infection, infection or weight loss
Connect through the senses
- Touch. Hold your loved one's hand. Brush his or her hair. Gently massage your loved one's hands, legs or feet.
- Smell. The scent of a favorite perfume, flower or food may be comforting.
- Sight. Show your loved one a video with scenes of nature and soft, calming sounds. If your loved one lives in a facility with a bird cage, take him or her to watch the birds.
- Hearing. Read aloud, even if your loved one can't understand the words. The tone and rhythm of your voice may be soothing.