I recently spoke to a group of caregivers at the Brevard Alzheimer's Foundation and it went extremely well.
Dear Bob: You were a SENSATION yesterday! You “wore” me out but it was all GOOD because the positive feedback just hasn’t stopped! First thing through the door this morning someone wanted help finding a “talking parrot”! You have so much more to offer caregivers than I think you realize. Thanks, thanks, thanks for sharing. I hope we get to do this again! - Janet Steiner, Brevard Alzheimer's Foundation
The Best Way to Find Solutions to the Problems that Caregivers Face Each Day
I spent a wonderful day at the Brevard Alzheimer's Foundation. I learned about their adult day care services; and amazingly, how they are able to offer 4 hours of free respite care to caregivers. I wish I had that when Dotty was alive.
I also had a great time educating a large group of motivated Alzheimer's caregivers. I am really looking forward to talking to more groups like this in the future. This experience really energized me!
Here is the steak and potatoes from my presentation. Please take the time to work through the material - it really does help.
1. Custom Search - Alzheimer’s Patients can Deceive OutsidersThis is by far one of the most popular topics when I give a presentation on Alzheimer's and Dementia care. The ability to act differently in front of others demonstrations that dementia patients do retain their social skills.
What happens and how do they do it? The person living with Alzheimer's jumps in what I call the Way Bac machine. They jump back to a time before Alzheimer's set in. So Dotty could complain all the way to the doctors office, ask to go home a 100 times, and then all of a sudden turn into a wonderful person when the doctor walked into the room. She acted like she would have - way back - when she went to the doctor.
Did this ever happen to you? When you are complaining about how hard and difficult it is to take care of your loved one; and then, someone comes over and your loved one acts perfectly normal - this can be exasperating. Why do they do it? They jump way back when the person walks in the door. In other words, they use their long term memory to jump back. Moral of the this story - then can socialize, you can take them out, and all you need to do is get them to - jump way back.
2. Custom Search - How I Used Ice Cream to Solve a Big Caregiving Problem
Do you have a problem with your loved one that keeps happening day after day? And sometimes, around the same time of day each day? The solution to many of these problems is to change the pattern by substituting something positive at the exact time it usually happens to change the pattern of behavior. I used ice cream to solve one of our most disconcerting problems.
5. Custom Search - Rewiring the Brain to Deal with Alzheimer'sYou have to learn how to change the way you communicate. All it takes is a little practice and some patience.
6. Custom Search - How to Adapt the Caregiver Brain to Alzheimer's and DementiaYou have to adapt. If you keep on doing what doesn't work you'll learn what I learned the hard way - it will never work. On the other hand, once you learn to adapt - bingo - the world around you starts making sense.
7. Custom Search - Caregiver Can Accomplish More Than They Can ImagineI love caregivers. I can say that because I know how they feel - I did it myself for eight and a half years. We are capable of more than we can imagine and as thousands of readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room have already proved - we can do it and do it well.
8. Custom Search - Alzheimer's WorldI finally found my mom. I did it the day I stepped into Alzheimer's World. All I had to do was take one giant step to the left. Once I made it I was surprised to learn - this is really a wonderful place. In the World as I call it, everything becomes normal. It is almost like you were in a hurricane and it finally passed over. All of a sudden the sun comes out.
9. Custom Search - Deeply Forgetful and a Whole PersonI never liked the word Alzheimer's. It is a nasty word. So I started telling people my mother was deeply forgetful. It seemed much kinder, and it made me feel better about the entire situation.
10. Custom Search - How Important is Routine in Dementia CareAlzheimer's patients like routine. It makes it easier for them to deal with the world. It also helps because you know exactly what you are going to do, and when you are going to do it. This takes the pressure off the caregiver and their loved one.
11. Custom Search - Groundhog Day and Dementia CareDid you ever see the movie Ground Hog Day? Bill Murray starts by being mean and doing nasty things. Then all of a sudden he starts doing positive things like playing the piano, ice sculpting, and saving people. Once he figures it all out, and after much trial and tribulation he finds the women he loves. I applied this model to my caregiving effort. It works.
12. Custom Search - Is Water Invisible and EatingPure and simple most dementia patients don't like water and they don't like to take a shower. This is one of our biggest problems. What ca n you do? Also, learn about how to get a dementia patient to eat more food - sometimes a big problem.
13. Custom Search - Harvey, the Greatest Alzheimer's Caregiver Tool of Them AllWhat can I say? A 20 buck investment changed our lives and let me in on a lot of secrets about how an Alzheimer's patient - my mom - thought and felt.
Want to get your loved one with dementia to socialize and talk? Get them a toy parrot. They can sing and talk to the parrot while you take it easy - a form of rest. They will tell the parrot all kinds of things that will surprise you. Most important, they will keep on talking and socializing.
14. Custom Search - 10 Things a Person Living with Dementia Would Tell You if they CouldWhat does a person living with Alzheimer's really want? It really is kind of simple.
Here are some additional Custom Searches that can really help you have a better day, and a better caregiving experience.
Brevard Alzheimer's Association PowerPoint presentation. You can take a look at the presentation slides here.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR).
The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.
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