Information for care-givers attending to the person with Alzheimer's disease
Often staff do not use the persons name instead using: darl, love, sweetie, etc. Why not ask the person what they prefer to be called. If the resident can't tell you then ask family or friends. Encourage all staff members to use the residents name; after all we all like to called by our name.
During activities incorporate ways to use the persons name:
When greeting the person.
Ask open-ended questions "Peter what did your friends call you at school? Did you have a nick name"?
Introducing the person by name to their peers or staff.
The memory of names often will outlast all other memories for a person with late Alzheimer's.
When my mother was in a nursing home, I was surprised to see mum could still write her name, it was wobbly but it was mums signature. The joy I saw on mums face of being able to sign and see her name... is something I will always cherish. A person with Alzheimer's or various dementias will experience a feeling of satisfaction and joy in seeing their name on artwork or a card. Spelling or signing ones name is a long-term skill that a person will retain well into the disease.
When staff use the preferred name of the person with Alzheimer's in long term care they will find they will respond with smiles.