>>He sounds like a handful. Do you have individual support to shore you up, for you to be totally candid with instead of keeping up a brave face? Perhaps a therapist you see occasionally for venting and problem solving?
What is your most immediate need?
Jane you have a lot of experience in this area so I have a question for you.
These posts often indicate that the individual needing care, pretty much runs the show. They determine what others will do for them. Where they will eat, when they will go out, what they will wear, etc. I do not understand this at all. They are not in a position to determine much of anything so why do the caregivers not make appropriate changes?
That is a VERY good question
I've often reflected to myself that we are ALL toddlers in some ways: No one likes to be told what to do, whether we are 18 months old or 88 years old. And the path of least resistance for caregivers is to do what the person with dementia is WILLING to do. Even a toddler at age 18months and 35 pounds can't really be physically forced. Once they have teeth...
So if the person with dementia doesn't want to eat, that's tough. They might want to live on hostess twinkies. How do you get them to eat healthily? How do you get them to bathe? For some reason, a whole lot of people hate to bath. They feel like they might fall, they get cold...
The caregivers find themselves trying to avoid the tantrum of an 88 year old....
However, with training and support, caregivers can learn how to negotiate more successfully with their care recipient. Often counter-intuitive, the advice ranges from:
1. going with a delusion. If the care receipient sees a monkey in the corner, invite them to tea. keep it light. what is the monkey wearing? do they need new shoes? make the person laugh and change the subject.
2. if the person won't take a bath, try bribery. try making the bathroom super safe. try bubbles. call it a spa...
If the person is verbally abusive, that is harder, emotionally especially, but what the heck: "If you call me names, you are not getting any ice cream...." Behavioral training works pretty well. But like training a dog or a child, it takes consistency and a strategy.
does any of this make sense?