When your mom or dad has a catastrophic reaction to events or becomes uncharacteristically upset or excited, it can be unnerving. You are not sure what to do or how to handle this new behaviour. Continue reading
Recently I received a phone call from a friend. Her Dad had just been diagnosed with dementia and she wanted to help her mom and dad cope. I wrote her six tips that I thought would really help all of them make daily living a shared positive experience. And now I’m sharing them with you. Continue reading
One of the most difficult parts of dementia is losing the ability to make decisions. Not only is there confusion but often, decision-making opportunities are taken away from the individual when they receive a dementia diagnosis.
Loss of decision-making impacts self-esteem and self-confidence. A lack of self-confidence can lead to withdrawal and a downward spiral for the individual. Thus, it is important to try and include the individual in as many decisions as possible for as long as possible. Continue reading
I know a woman who collected things – her entire basement was filled with things. Ceiling to floor with a small pathway through was the only way to navigate her basement. The front porch was full of newspapers. Ceiling to floor with no place to sit. This caused a lot of angst for her family, and really limited her full enjoyment of her living space.
This is an obvious case of hoarding. But what to do and how to handle it? Continue reading
Are you concerned about connecting with someone who has dementia?
It could be a family member or friend. Or you might want to volunteer with seniors, but you are not sure how to handle being with someone with dementia.
Well this post is for you. Continue reading
Some individuals with dementia are inclined to pace or walk constantly. There seems to be a certain restlessness to this behavior. Determining the underlying causes and creating a framework for the walking can turn a negative behavior into a positive one.
If you observe restless walking or pacing behavior, start keeping track of when it occurs. See if there are common triggers or events that occur before the walking begins. Continue reading
Your mom or dad may repeat the same actions over and over. Mom may ask the same questions. Dad may continuously tap his leg or pace the room. They may repeat actions or questions without realizing that they had done the same thing moments before.
Behaviour like this can be frustrating for the caregiver. After you have answered the same questions multiple times, your patience can wear thin. It is important, however, to remember that disease is causing this behaviour not individual choice. Your mom is not repeating questions just to get under your skin. Continue reading
When someone you love receives a diagnosis of dementia, it is common to feel anxious and stressed. One of the biggest challenges is to know how much care to provide at the early states. Your mom or dad may still be very independent. They may be working, driving, and taking care of their physical needs. They may still be autonomous and you want to help them stay there for as long as possible. Continue reading
When behaviour is so different from the norm, caregivers are often left scratching their heads. What should they do? How should they react? What is going on in their loved one’s head?
The cause for outbursts may not always be obvious but often it is due to discomfort or pain, anxiety or insecurity, or a dislike or upset with the caregiver. Layer on top of that a reduction in language ability so that communication is difficult and you have created the perfect storm. Continue reading
All of us can become fixated on an issue or very upset about an event. But for an individual with dementia, the ability to move past the event or let go of the issue can be very difficult. That is why it is so important to be able to redirect conversations and actions. Continue reading