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Dementia

I have been a caregiver for 18 years and working with dementia patients can be challenging.  I have learned to agree with them when they think snakes are under their beds. Just pretend to take the snakes from under the bed and take them outside. Never be confrontational or admonish them. Be kind, divert their attention if they become agitated. If you are going to help them brush their teeth, hand the toothbrush under handed to them. It is less threatening. Also a shower should begin from the feet up, give time for them to adjust to the water and it's temperature. I have had to get in the shower with them at times. Also buy the book Alzheimer's A - Z, by Jytte Lokvig. In it she describes a fiddle box containing items such as buttons, bows, measuring cups and spoons, spools of thread, fabric swatches, etc for dementia patients to fiddle with.

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Thank you for the advice.

I know that working with dementia patient is challenging. I care for my grandfather who has dementia. But now, I am thinking of dementia care in New jersey for him. There he will get the best care by the expert team. My grandfather can get a positive, nurturing and enriching environment and his health will improve.

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@lp5019 wrote:

I have been a caregiver for 18 years and working with dementia patients can be challenging.  I have learned to agree with them when they think snakes are under their beds. Just pretend to take the snakes from under the bed and take them outside. Never be confrontational or admonish them. Be kind, divert their attention if they become agitated. If you are going to help them brush their teeth, hand the toothbrush under handed to them. It is less threatening. Also a shower should begin from the feet up, give time for them to adjust to the water and it's temperature. I have had to get in the shower with them at times. Also buy the book Alzheimer's A - Z, by Jytte Lokvig. In it she describes a fiddle box containing items such as buttons, bows, measuring cups and spoons, spools of thread, fabric swatches, etc for dementia patients to fiddle with.


Great advice!

 

Just a thought: would you be willing to share how being a caregiver has changed you? Particularly, has it changed how you are planning your own care needs in the future? Are you clearer than most people about what you do and do not want?  When i was a geriatric care manager, i saw all different kinds of situations and i developed a sense of preference of how i want to be cared for, and what i do and don't want to burden my kids with.  Just curious. You have such a wealth of experience, it would be awesome to hear more of what you've learned and how it has changed you.

 

thank you for sharing your wisdom!

Jane

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Thank you Jane! Being a caregiver has changed me for the better. I became a caregiver when my mother needed one and discovered it was my calling. I would like to be cared for at home preferably with a caregiver from a home health agency. I am so glad to hear from you and your experience as a geriatric care manager. I am going to let you know also that in caring for dementia patients it is helpful for the caregiver to carry a card stating that she is caring for the dementia patient to present to others in public situations asking for patience. For instance at the grocery store, hair salon, etc. Also, being tactful is important. If a patient is unaware that there has been a death in the family and insists the person is still alive agree with the patient. Or if the patient thinks their daughter or son is their mother or father, just agree. Whomever they think you are, you are that person to them. Thanks again!

 

Linda

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