Catching Flies With Honey: Words That Help You Work More Effectively With Aides

Being dependent on others to help look after someone with dementia is both a relief and source of worry. What happens when an aide or helper doesn't seem to be doing something to your satisfaction?

Try to avoid using the words bad or wrong in your comments.

  • Examples of what not to say: "That's a bad idea." "You're doing it the wrong way."

  • Better: Substitute sentences that involve the words more and less.

  • Examples of what to say: "Could you use a little less pressure when you wipe her skin? I worry because it's so delicate." "I'd like her to be changed more often; can we work toward that?"

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio