Helpful hints for Dementia Caregivers?

Even little hints that will make life easier will be most helpful.

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  • Take your client out for a walk each day and their dog too. And have scents, spices, & music that is familiar with their culture  out a few hours during each day, it breaks the day up with pleasantness for everyone.  Include your client in light conversations, it enables them to be engaged  and feel safe, occasionally bring little gifts, and leave treats in near unexpected places.  In the native american community people often  adopt an elder person and come to visit as family and paying it forward and keeping the community strong.

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  • Lots of great ideas. Unfortunately, my family member can barely take 1/2 step now & we still hold him up to walk from bed to chair & back several times a day. We leave music on most of the day and talk to him as if he does understand everything, although sometimes I'm sure he doesn't.  He talks some, not conversations, just comments. And when he says, "I love you, baby", that makes my day and still pulls me down to him for a sweet kiss. Hold onto everything dear and don't let go for as long as you can.

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    • Carolyn Cox My mother is bed bound and we try to put on familiar music for her to reminisce for her generation. Some days she remembers more than others, but she always taps her foot when the music is on. We alternate that with watching movies; generally something bright because she cant follow the story line well anymore. She enjoys Rio, Ice Age; and most anything with dancing, children, or animals. She has stuffed animals that she "works" on as well (this gives her something to do with her hands) since she was a seamstress, craftier, all around do it yourself-er. And you are right, always talk to them as if they understand everything, because most of the time they do, they just can't articulate back. I also love the days when I get kisses! All the Best.

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  • One of the hints I learned is never to argue with them. They know what stage of life they are at in any time frame. They must always be right.

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  • My husband thought the man in the mirror was another person & he talked to him quite regularly. One day I stood behind him, he looked at me then saw me in the mirror. I explained that is me in the mirror beside him and that is him in the mirror.  He looked back & forth several times & actually "got it" for the moment. 

    The man in the mirror put bad ideas in his head, such as someone was trying to get him. I covered the mirrors & solved that issue. He was more calm after not getting bad advice anymore.

    And, yes, you are 100% right on the money. No amount of disagreement  can convince a dementia patient  that what they think is not true.  The best thing to do is try to change the subject to get their mind away from anxious thoughts.

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  • The best thing we came across to help us out with a parent who has this was a support group in our local church.

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    • Toni Irvine   Don't know how I could cope without my "circle of strength."  Our senior center has organized support groups all over the county.  They are wonderful.  If one is a caregiver, one NEEDS support of all kinds.  Just being with others who share the same situations for an hour or two every week or every month is such a huge blessing.

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  • Bonnie Ruhoff said:
    They know what stage of life they are at in any time frame. They must always be right.

     Oh boy...this is SO true!  I like the way you worded it, though...your thoughts traveled from my head to my heart.  It has changed my behavior, which is the only thing I can change around here!  Now, where's that duct tape, so I can keep my lips sealed?

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  • The one thing I was most proud of in regards to my participation in my mother's life who had dementia, was about twice a week I would take her for rides through the country.  We would start at McDonalds, get a large strawberry milkshake, then I would travel back roads that would circle around lakes or climb into mountains...inevitably something of interest would flash before us, deer, wild turkeys, horses, cows, goats, beautiful scenery.  The thing was, it was a pleasure for both of us.

    In addition, I always had a  personal goal of my own on these excursions like eventually getting to a store where I needed something.  Sometimes mom would wait in the car, or sometimes she would sit on  a bench watching the bustle of customers inside the store.  I often brought back a little block of cheese with crackers and she would munch happily on our return trip back to her assisted living home.  My love for my mom deepened with these trips. 

    The beauty of these excursions is there is no need to feel you have to engage your loved one while you are with them.  The passing scenery is the engagement. Conversation that does arise is usually effortless because my mother's concerns were brought up within the flow of her stream of consciousness, not mine.  She would talk for awhile and eventually meander off to view the scenery or sip her drink.

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  • good ideas

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  • A book " I Can't Fix It by Alan Martin " Really helped me survive caregiving my wife 

    with Alzheimer's for 15 years. It will help you too. Search Amazon, Bookrix and others.

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  • I take care of my mom full time. I take my mom out with me when the weather is nice we live in Arizona. The weather is nice here most of the time.  When  it's cold outside I'll do the cooking. Mom will look outside at the cars and people sometime show underlying magazines. When it's nice out I'll take her to the senior citizen place and have lunch with her and she enjoys talking and seeing everyone there. I keep her busy I take her to the malls I take her out to eat. I take her to the tailgate parties the football games. I'll take her to the Kingdom Hall where everyone loves to come up and visit with her and she really enjoys it.  I take care of my mom 24 hours a day. I had her in a Skilled Nursing Facility also known as a nursing home she got three bed sores it took me a over a year to get rid of them. I promise I would never send your back I'm so thankful she doesn't have any bed sores yes I do get up and turn her every couple of hours at night keep her clean it's a full-time job.

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    • Terry Saragosa 

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    • ann lavigne  Hi Terry. I was just thinking about how exhausted you must be all the time. I hope you get a little time to yourself, just to relax or do something enjoyable. Your mom is very lucky to have you. 

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  • My mom is in a wheelchair I get her up with the Hoyer lift everyday. It's hard taking care of family members twenty-four hours a day. Mom gets a lot of UTIs she was in the hospital 4 times in a month and a half UTIs in the pneumonia I stay with her in the hospital to reassure her everything is okay she'll ask me can they draw blood can they take my vitals and I'll say yes they can do it. My mom loves stuffed animals so I have one with her everywhere we go. I don't know what else to say just if possible have them stay with you at the home if she would have been in a nursing home she would have never lasted as long as she has. Mom's 86 years old now.  As long as she's well she still has a smile on her face and happy to be out she might not be able to talk much. But when she sees a familiar place she's all right now where we're going then she gets all happy. Thank you

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  • There are several blogs you can be a part of and they really give the caregiver support so they can continue to care for their loved one. There are also hints and tips there to physical care, emotional care, and financial care for those that are just starting on this journey. This trip will definitely make you stronger and there are days you just have to hold on. You will have to try, try, try, because you will be tested when applying for assistance of any kind. Keep at it and eventually you will succeed.

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