This is part five of the transcript from a special roundtable discussion featuring Alzheimer's caregivers. In this section, the participants -- Alice, Maureen, Phyllis and Joe -- talk about how to improve communication with their loved ones and keep them calm.
ALICE: How do you get your mother to communicate? [She asks Maureen] Is there anything that gets her to relax, makes it easier to communicate? With my husband, it's music.
MAUREEN: Oh, really.
ALICE: Yeah, I can put on music and when I go out riding, which he likes to ride; he loves riding all over the place and listening to music -- '50s music. He'll remember the lyrics to most of the songs.
MAUREEN: Oh, wow. It relaxes him?
ALICE: Yup, it keeps him calm and happy.
ALICE: But music ... it's amazing how he can remember all the lyrics from the '50s.
MAUREEN: I think communication with my mother, the key, key, key that I found is just to keep her calm -- not get her agitated.
ALICE: That's like him.
MAUREEN: I read in one of the pieces of literature that touch is really important. ... I'll give her a hug and I'll kiss her. She's so cute. ... She's got such a good nature.
JOE: I gave up on taking my wife shopping. We go down the aisle and she puts everything in the cart. And I have to keep putting things back ... and then she goes off on her own and gets lost.
PHYLLIS: I've been doing a lot of reading, being new to this journey, and one of the caregiver books for Alzheimer's patients notes to talk in short sentences in a low tone of voice. And I've been trying that out. And it seems to be working very well.
PHYLLIS: But finding a passion they've had, and keeping them interested in that passion and keeping them going with that passion -- a book or doing crossword puzzles ... that's when we start to see the true person coming back that we know. It keeps him lively.
Alzheimer's Caregiver Roundtable Topics
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