Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease, This is Not the Person I Knew (Cinch)


By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's disease is difficult to comprehend.

Alzheimer's caregivers find it difficult to accept and understand that the new, different, and often bizarre behaviors they experience from a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease are a product of the disease.

The person suffering from Alzheimer's did not choose to go into this new and bizarre world. They are not acting irrational by design or with intent.


The Alzheimer’s sufferer is not engaging in these behaviors intentionally. They are engaging in these behaviors because their brain is sick. The result of this sickness is an inability to cope effectively with the world around them.

Once you come to the understanding that these new, hard to accept and deal with behaviors are being caused by Alzheimer's disease you'll lower you own level of stress and anxiety.

This simple understanding leads to more effective Alzheimer's caregiving.

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The Script for:

Alzheimer's Disease -- This is Not the Person I Knew (CinchCast)


When I hear these words -- this is not the person I knew, I am greatly saddened.

The Alzheimer’s caregiver speaking these words is often angry, in a constant state of angst, and confused.

The look on the caregivers face tells the story. The tone of their voice sounds like a cry for help.

This is not the person I knew.

The behavioral changes that come with Alzheimer's disease cause the caregiver to experience a range of negative emotions that come on with a power that is equivalent to a human tsunami.

Caregivers often experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anger, and confusion.

This is not the person I knew.

Concluding or believing that the person you know, is not the person you knew, is an easy way to make sense of something that is very difficult to understand.

This easy, erroneous conclusion, This is not the person I knew, does comes with a consequence that is psychologically devastating and debilitating. The conclusion, This is not the person I knew, brings with it an almost certain outcome -- the inability to deal with Alzheimer's disease in an effective manner.

The person you know is still the same person with one simple exception -- they are ill. They suffer from a disease. They suffer from Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease changes the way a person talks, acts and behaves. The person suffering from Alzheimer's disease often becomes mean. Meanness is a symptom of the disease.

The inability to use all their faculties and to organize their mind causes the Alzheimer’s patient to experience feelings of insecurity, fear, anger, and confusion. This in part explains their new and different behavior.

Alzheimer's sufferers live in a near constant state of confusion caused by the brains inability to sort out stimuli correctly. I sometimes think of this like a brain that is cracked. The brain still works but it can no longer do all the things it once did.

In order to communicate effectively with a person suffering from Alzheimer's disease you need to come to an understanding that they are now living in a new world -- I often refer to this as Alzheimer's World.

The person suffering from Alzheimer's did not choose to go into this new and bizarre world. They are not acting irrational by design or with intent. They are acting irrational because their brain is not functioning properly. This is being caused by Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's caregiving at its core is all about change and acceptance. The first step in this change is coming to the understanding that what you are seeing and experiencing, the new behaviors that you are observing are a direct effect of an illness -- Alzheimer’s disease.

The new behaviors you are observing on the part of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are not intentional. The Alzheimer’s sufferer is not engaging in these behaviors intentionally. They are engaging in these behaviors because their brain is sick. The result of this sickness is an inability to cope effectively with the world around them.

If you can come to the understanding that these often bizarre and hard to understand behaviors are normal for a person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, you will be able to deal with them more effectively.

This is Bob DeMarco, I am an Alzheimer’s Caregiver. My mother Dorothy suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Insight and Advice

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,950 articles with more than 95,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room