How to Talk to Your Loved About Memory Loss
Noticing changes in a friend or family member can be unsettling and leave you feeling unsure about how to approach the subject. It can be difficult to discuss your concerns with your loved one as you do not want to offend them or cause them to feel threatened.
Before proceeding with your conversation, you might make note of the changes that you have observed in their behavior and/or thinking. Consider any health issues and external stressors they may be experiencing. You may also consider who might be the best person to communicate these concerns. Thoughtful consideration of when, where, and how to have this conversation is important.
The Alzheimer’s Association recommends trying these clear statements:
I’ve noticed [change] in you, and I’m concerned. Have you noticed it? Are you worried?
How have you been feeling lately? You haven’t seemed like yourself.
I noticed you [specific example] and it worried me. Has anything else like that happened?
Keep in mind that it may take a few attempts to have a successful and meaningful conversation with your loved one. If the first conversation doesn’t go well, reflect on the experience and plan for next time.
It is normal to feel scared and concerned; your loved one may be feeling scared too. Offer to join them at their next doctor’s appointment. This type of support may bring comfort to the situation.
Note: The VirtuALZ blog (FYI) is strictly a news and information website about Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias and life over 60. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The VirtuALZ Blog (FYI) is intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease.