Health Watch — Giving Back: Visiting Alzheimer's Patients

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about things you can do to help others. Previously, we talked about life-saving measures such as CPR or blood donation, but it’s just as important to help people feel better emotionally. A visit to a patient with Alzheimer’s disease can make a big difference both for the patient and for the caregiver.

Peggy Higgins, education director for the Alzheimer’s Disease Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has some tips on visiting Alzheimer’s patients. Be sure to call first so you know you’re visiting at a good time. With the caregiver’s permission, bring a sorting project, such as squares of cloth or family photos. Busy hands can help keep the patient engaged. Caregivers will also appreciate the social interaction because they may feel isolated. Keep your visit to under an hour, and try to visit regularly on an ongoing basis.


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August 2007

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