Distraction: Singing & Reading
For some people, a distraction can be a good way to get the chore done. Its kind of a different communication style that helps in distressing situations. For example, if a patient and/or loved one likes singing, starting him/her singing could allow the caregiver and/or family member to ease into bathing time with a gesture.
Singing actually can help tremendously with memory loss patients and/or loved ones who can no longer talk, or have trouble finding words to form sentences, because they are usually still able to sing a song. Often, they can remember the lyrics of a song from beginning to end.
Many patients and/or loved ones can still read as well. Singing and reading can give the person great joy and hearing a loved ones voice can very comforting for family members.
Why Does It Happen
Dementia can cause people to have difficulty with recognising people, places and things, particularly in later stages. Dementia can also affect peoples memory, so that they might not remember where they left something or why theyre in a particular place.
These problems with recognition and memory can lead to suspicion, paranoia and false beliefs. They might think that strange people are in their house they might find themselves unexpectedly in a place they dont recognise. Objects might seem to disappear from the place they were sure they were in. Conversations theyre having might not make sense to them. People seek to understand these confusing and worrying events, and might do so by blaming someone or something else.
Delirium can also lead to the appearance or increase in false beliefs or different realities. If there is a sudden change in someones behaviour or thinking, or they appear much more confused than usual, it could be due to delirium. This should be investigated by a doctor immediately .
How can I recognise when a person with dementia is experiencing delusions?
The person with dementia might:
Power Of Attorney Delegation Mid
If there is no power of attorney designation, and the older adult is further along in the diseases process, things can get a bit more complicated. If an older adult is unable to understand the power of attorney document and process, the family will need to enlist the help of the local court.
A judge can review the case and grant someone in the family the title of conservator. A conservatorship allows the designee named by the court to make decisions about the persons finances. A guardianship allows the designee named by the court to make decisions about the persons healthcare. This is cumbersome, certainly, but it is necessary in order to advocate for your loved one and their wishes.
Dementia makes life a bit more complicated for older adults and their family members. Learn more about challenges you may face now and in the future, along with realistic solutions that will help you navigate them with confidence, by downloading our free resource, The Caregivers Complete Guide to Alzheimers and Dementia Care.
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Try Diverting The Conversation
Keep a photograph album handy. Sometimes looking at pictures from their past and being given the chance to reminisce will ease feelings of anxiety. It might be best to avoid asking questions about the picture or the past, instead trying to make comments: ‘That looks like Uncle Fred. Granny told me about the time he….’
Alternatively, you could try diverting them with food, music, or other activities, such as a walk.
Should You Tell The Person They Have Alzheimer’s
Families may frequently ask, Should I tell the person that he/she has Alzheimer’s? Keep in mind that the patient and/or loved one can’t reason. They don’t have enough memory to remember the question, then think it through to form a conclusion. Caregivers and/or family members may often think if they tell the person with memory loss that he/she has Alzheimer’s, then he/she will understand and cooperate. You cant get cooperation by explaining that he/she has the disease and expect him/her to remember and use that information.
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Alzheimers Association Recommends Maintaining Routines And Sticking By Them
According to research, having a daily routine plan is one of the most effective methods for reducing challenging behaviors of a senior suffering from this disease. Give your mom or dad as much independence in daily tasks as possible.
Much of the frustration in Alzheimers patients come from losing the ability to perform basic daily tasks. If you are caring for your parent, it may be based on their having taught you how to perform these tasks when you were a child. This loss of ability can lead to stubbornness when you try to step in and do the tasks for them. When possible, let your loved one perform intimate or basic tasks on their own. This can reduce stress and frustration for both parties.
Who Can Have Power Of Attorney
Selecting who has power of attorney is an important decision. By law, the person who is selected is called the agent. This person should be a trustworthy adult who is willing and able to handle complex medical and financial decisions and responsibilities on behalf of the diagnosed older adult.
Sometimes, families choose to split power of attorney duties so that no one person is in charge of every decision. In these cases, they divide duties into healthcare decisions and financial decisions, creating two powers of attorney, one for each category.
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Make Food Look Attractive
People with Alzheimers are often positively stimulated by varied colors and shapes. When food is aesthetically pleasing to those with Alzheimers, theyre more likely to take an interest in it. Use colorful foods such as red and green peppers, purple cabbage, yellow squash, and tri-colored pasta to entice your loved one to eat. Colorful meals that are abundant in fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains are both appealing and nutritious. Cut the foods into different shapes to further spark interest at mealtimes.
A trained Alzheimers caregiver can provide expertise and additional support to encourage your loved one to eat. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they dont all need the same type ofhome care service. Torontofamilies can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved ones unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Ten Tips For Communicating With A Person With Dementia
We arenât born knowing how to communicate with a person with dementiaâbut we can learn. Improving your communication skills will help make caregiving less stressful and will likely improve the quality of your relationship with your loved one. Good communication skills will also enhance your ability to handle the difficult behavior you may encounter as you care for a person with a dementing illness.
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Refusing Help With Personal Care
Personal care is an intimate activity and most people will experience difficult feelings if they need help with this. Trying to force a person with dementia to accept personal care constitutes abuse. It is a fundamental human right to say no. However, neglecting someones personal care needs can also be abusive, as the persons health may be put at risk. Therefore, it is essential to understand the persons reason for refusing and to address this.
We may need to find an alternative way of providing the personal care the person needs, for example, offering a bath rather than a shower. It will be important to find out as much as possible about the persons previous lifestyle and preferences concerning their hygiene. Perhaps the person always had a bath on Sunday mornings and had stand-up washes for the rest of the week. Then we need to adapt to this routine. Through finding out this background information, observing and listening to the person with dementia, we can gradually build up a picture of the personal care routines and preferences of each individual.
Find The Perfect Time Of Day
Some seniors may prefer to bathe in the evening, while others like to feel freshened up in the morning. Find out what time of day the individual prefers to bathe and help support that choice.
For patients with dementia, sticking to the individuals established routine can increase your odds of success.
If youre not sure which time of day they prefer and they arent able to tell you, try alternating between morning and evening bathing sessions and keep track of when the individual seems happier and more compliant.
Choose whichever time of day they seem to prefer!
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Keep The Patient Active During The Day
Plan daily activities go for a stroll outdoors, meet family members and friends, and if happy and able – visit a specialist group, such as a dementia cafe. Exposure to natural daylight is important to regulate the body clock, and getting out and about is the best way to enjoy good physical health. This will also help to tire and promote better sleep.
How To Convince A Loved One With Alzheimer’s Symptoms To Go To The Doctor
Late one night I was deeply engrossed in writing a short story about three parakeets when the phone rang. Must be Ed I thought. But it wasn’t. It was a woman calling to tell me she’d found Ed driving on the wrong side of the road.
In my deep denial I thought it was just because he was driving after dark. I thought it was just a temporary confusion — not a sign of something more ominous. Not an early sign of Alzheimer’s.
In its 2014 report, Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, the Alzheimer’s Association states that someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s every 67 seconds. The report also says that an estimated 5.2 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s, and that 500,000 people die because they have the condition.
Overcoming Denial — The First Hurdle
As I wrote in a previous article here, Alzheimer’s and the Devil Called Denial, the disease is, above all, an insidious one. Its symptoms often begin so mildly and progress so slowly that it’s easy for friends and loved ones to deny them. There is a tendency to make excuses for the person, to push the symptoms to the back of one’s mind, or to try to explain them away.
Why to Get the Person to a Doctor
It’s critical for everyone involved to overcome their denial and take the first difficult step of consulting a physician about the symptoms. Some people think there’s no reason to seek a diagnosis because there’s no cure for the disease. Yet it’s is important for several reasons.
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Repetitive Speech Or Actions
People with dementia will often repeat a word, statement, question, or activity over and over. While this type of behavior is usually harmless for the person with dementia, it can be annoying and stressful to caregivers. Sometimes the behavior is triggered by anxiety, boredom, fear, or environmental factors.
- Provide plenty of reassurance and comfort, both in words and in touch.
- Try distracting with a snack or activity.
- Avoid reminding them that they just asked the same question. Try ignoring the behavior or question, and instead try refocusing the person into an activity such as singing or âhelpingâ you with a chore.
- Donât discuss plans with a confused person until immediately prior to an event.
- You may want to try placing a sign on the kitchen table, such as, âDinner is at 6:30â or âLois comes home at 5:00â to remove anxiety and uncertainty about anticipated events.
- Learn to recognize certain behaviors. An agitated state or pulling at clothing, for example, could indicate a need to use the bathroom.
Evoke Pleasant Memories With Aromas
Enticing smells can stimulate the appetite. The aroma of freshly baked bread, a simmering pot roast, or baked cinnamon apples may evoke pleasant memories of days gone by. The pleasant scents may remind your loved one of sharing meals with beloved family members and friends. To further enhance the dining experience, invite friends and family over for a meal, and if your loved one is able, ask him or her to participate in meal planning and preparation. Your parent may feel proud to be involved in the process of creating and sharing delicious food with loved ones, which may motivate him or her to eat.
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Dont Answer Questions Of Patient/loved Ones Regarding Bad Memories
People with Alzheimer’s often ask difficult questions, mostly about people who have passed away years ago. Its not helpful to remind the patient and/or loved one that a person theyre asking about has passed away. Rather than avoid the subject, you can say, He/shes not here right now, but tell me about him/her. Often the person with memory loss is looking for the sensation and security that they would have if their loved one was around.
Caregivers and/or family members should be helping patients and/or loved ones comfortable, safe, and protected. Elderly women, for example, who have had children commonly ask, Where are my babies? This question will often come up at meal time, when feeding the children was an important part of motherhood. Find a way to soothe their concern. You could say, The babies are sleeping.
As stated earlier, trying to bring a person with Alzheimer’s the present-day reality is not effective. Caregivers and/or family members should adapt to the patient and/or loved ones reality. Its ok to go anywhere in any time period in order to communicate.
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Common Causes of Problem Behavior
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How I Get My Mom To Bed
Personal tips, tricks, strategies and weapons in the battle of the bedtime: one caregivers thoughtful, patient, inside secrets.
As morning problems have to do with getting started, the evening challenge is to wind up the day and get some sleep. Fatigue adds stress in any situation. In an Alzheimers household, fatigue can make evenings seem unbearably long.
I concentrate on five strategies to get us all unstuck and tucked in:
These strategies take time, but they work.
Arguing with Mom, or any Alzheimers patient, is worse than pointless. Trying to convince her of what is clear and reasonable to me only increases her frustration and confusion.
So when she says shes afraid a fire might destroy the house during the night, I do not try to convince her that the house is safe. Instead, I agree that a fire in the night would be a problem. Then
I take action. Instead of relying on words to convince her the house is safe, I walk through it, every room, checking it.
Mom sees that I take her fear seriously. Watching me act on her reality helps her accept my words.
Waiting a few minutes gives Mom time to forget my earlier request.
Patient Who Does Not Want To Know
Nine participants did not want to know what was wrong with them or to receive any information about their illness. Although we did not asked them why, some of them spontaneously tried to explain their choice. Their motives seem to display a wide spectrum from probably full insight through more or less conscious decisions not to know the truth to complete denial of their illness .
I could not find any clinical or demographic characteristics indicating those who would prefer to be told from those who would not.
How Do You Get Someone With Alzheimers To Take A Shower
The only way then to get an Alzheimers patient to take a shower is to use a handheld detach from the wall and let it hang down. While using it, aim in at the floor or away from the patient. In most cases, you will end up helping the patient take the shower. The patients may be uncomfortable at first but there are ways to make them comfortable. Otherwise, they will not take a shower on their own.
Understand that it may be embarrassing for them, so have patience. Sometimes someone who has Alzheimers and is being bathed by someone else will slip and forget why they are in a bath with someone, and it could even cause them to be sexually inappropriate, so be prepared for that possibility.