Caregiver emotions are a key factor with Alzheimer's patients

People suffering from Alzheimer's disease have a tendency to mirror the emotions of those they communicate with, somewhat in the same way that infants do. Research now shows that even people with mild cognitive impairment show that tendency as well. The lesson for caregivers is to focus on being "very aware of our body language -- being centered, present, not being distracted -- when we're with someone with dementia. If we're not, they'll pick up on it and it will begin to shut them down," said Dr. G. Allen Power, a geriatrician in Rochester, N.Y.

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