Research has proven the human touch is powerful, and it holds true even when someone is living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
In fact, a simple hug or touch on the arm can calm someone with memory loss by decreasing stress, anxiety and promoting relaxation. We see this at The Memory Center communities every day.
As the disease progresses, some people will want to be touched more and more such as wanting to hold your hand, having their arm rubbed or giving hugs. Even though the individual may not remember day-to-day details, that doesn’t mean they forget emotions and the feelings associated with them.
As shown in the graphic below there are some tips to hugging someone with Alzheimer’s to avoid frightening them and to accurately convey the emotion.
While touch is very powerful and can greatly benefit people living with Alzheimer’s it is still a good idea to ask them if it is all right. Everyone is different and will have good and bad days – including some where they may not welcome a hug.