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07 Sep 2020

Emerald Gem: Early to Mid-Stage Dementia


Topics: Alzheimers, Dementia

On the gem’s scale emerald represents early to mid-stage dementia. An emerald was chosen to represent this stage because of the colour green. In a stop-light sequence green means “go” and emerald’s are on the move. They are moving in time and tend to get lost in past life, places, and roles. Below are some basic characteristics of an Emerald:

  • Things are not as clear or sharp, becoming vague
  • Flaws are hidden
  • Time traveling, get lost in the past life, places and roles
  • They think they are fine
  • Get emotional quickly
  • Make mistakes and don’t realize it
  • Do something over and over or skip completely
  • Ask “What? Where? When?”
  • Like having choices
  • They need help but don’t know it or like it

As dementia progresses, you will need to adjust your communication approach to meet their needs. Whereas with a Diamond you may be able to hold what seems to be a normal conversation, an Emerald will become much more vague in their conversation. They will also have trouble sustaining a conversation for a long period of time without repeating themselves.

Here are some best practices for communicating with an Emerald:

  • Use a friendly, warm, and adult tone. Never speak to your loved one as though they are a child. Although their needs are changing, they are still adults who have had a long and robust life and deserve respect accordingly.
  • When you are asked a question or told a story multiple times, always treat it as though it is the first time you have heard it. To them, it is the first time and you do not want to make them feel foolish or incompetent. 
  • When you need your loved one to do something try asking them to “try,” instead of “bossing” them around. For example? “Would you like to try to wash up for supper?”

Be sure to stay tuned and learn more in Part 3 of the Senior Gems® program and how it can help you loved one.

Looking for help? Contact us today to get your loved one the care they need and deserve.

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