Customers with Alzheimer’s

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​​When you or a loved one have Alzheimer's or another dementia, the path is strewn with challenges -- from managing difficult behaviors in the here and now to worrying about the future. But one of the things that comes up again and again is something that many of us take for granted: how do you go about the business of everyday life when Alzheimer's is always there?​

If you own a business, chances are you've encountered a customer with Alzheimer's or another kind of dementia. And with a projected 40 percent increase in the number of people over 65 who will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's by 2025, it is probably something you will continue to see. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Make eye contact and be personable but don't crowd or corner your customer.
  • Allow the customer to take their time. Rushing them can cause undue stress.
  • Speak in simple, short sentences and slightly more slowly than you normally would – but not more loudly, as that can cause anxiety or feel patronizing.
  • Listen carefully to what they are saying and offer encouragement without trying to rush or second guess them.
  • Above all, be patient. A customer with Alzheimer's might take up more of your time and energy than other customers but they deserve excellent service, just like anyone else. Even when a customer becomes agitated with you, try to keep your calm and understand that, while you are experiencing a brief period of frustration due to their Alzheimer's, they are living with it 'round the clock.

Home Instead Senior Care® serving Central Oregon is launching a new campaign designed to make our community more Alzheimer's friendly. Through the Alzheimer's Friendly BusinessSM program, we provide free training to local businesses to help equip employees with information and resources needed to welcome families who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease.

Local businesses can work directly with our office to coordinate an in-person training. An interactive, online version of the training also is available at Once the training is successfully completed, businesses will receive a window cling with the Alzheimer's Friendly Business designation. The designation will be valid for two years.

For more information about Alzheimer's and dementia care, or to schedule a training, please contact Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon at 541-330-6400.


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