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This Is ALZ: Conversation Starting Point

ConversationCommunicating with someone with Alzheimer’s and other dementias can present a special challenge. Here are some strategies and activities to help get the conversation started:

• Remember When?
Choose a memory from long ago to talk about, such as the vacations your family used to take together, or the day when the car broke down in the middle of the blizzard. Start out by saying that you had been thinking about that particular event and then share some of the details related to it.

• Address Book, Social Directory, or Yearbook
Find an old address book, church directory, or school yearbook and go through the book together.

• Photo Albums
Bring pictures that you can go through together.

• Recipe Box or Book
Find your mother’s old, often-used recipes and bring them along on a visit. Reminisce together about her favorite ones to cook, as well as which ones made the family cringe when she made them.

• Tell Me About When You First Fell in Love
Ask her to recall when she first met the person and fell in love, and what she liked most about him.

• Read Together
Bring her favorite classic literature book or a book on faith that is meaningful to her.

• Bring Items of Interest
Perhaps your loved one has a longstanding hobby of collecting baseball cards. Bring some along to look through and ask their opinion about the value and importance of the cards.