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Things you can do to keep those with Alzheimer's safe during reopening

Posted at 5:18 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 15:38:41-04

MAGIC VALLEY — At first, your loved one with Alzheimer's may not react well to wearing a mask or having to wash their hands consistently, but the Alzheimer's Foundation of America says there are things you can do to ensure they are safe during this time.

"You have to do your best to try, but you also have to be forgiving of yourself and understand that there are limits to what you can do. Some of the nice things about these masks are some of them can be lovely and fun. You can pick masks that have themes or that have resonance with that person," Dr. Allison B. Reiss with The Alzheimer's Foundation of America, said.

For those who don't like the consistent handwashing, Dr. Reiss says buying soaps with a fragrance can make a big difference and encourage them to wash their hands more often.

"I think a lot of us have that, that olfactory memory, so a scent that you enjoy brings such good feelings. Like cinnamon apple smells of apple pie and childhood, vanilla. You know many people love the scent of a warm home kitchen or the scent of outdoors and flowers and gardens and grass. So that very much goes into an emotional center and people like that," Dr. Reiss said.

Throughout all of this, one thing to remember is to talk to your loved one who has Alzheimer's in a soothing tone.

"So we want to try and be that calm safety for them, a safe environment, a secure feeling, a feeling of routine and that everything is just as it should be so that there's not that agitation and panic," Dr. Reiss said.

To get more information and tips on how to keep your loved ones safe during the pandemic, you can visit the Alzheimer's Foundation of America's website.