May 12, 2016

Caregiving is an Art, Listening is an Art

I took care of my mom, Dotty, for eight and a half years. 3,112 days. It doesn't seem like it, but she went to Heaven almost 4 years ago.


Alzheimer's caregiving is an art. Listening is also an art, not a science. This especially true when trying to listen to an Alzheimer's patient.
This caused me to think about my own life as a caregiver. Yes, I know how you feel. I was you.
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Alzheimer's caregiving is an art, it is not a science. Listening is also an art, not a science. This is especially true when trying to listen to an Alzheimer's patient. You have to learn how to do it.



Two of the biggest problems Alzheimer's and Dementia caregivers face are how to cope and communicate with someone living with dementia.

Today, I decided to highlight a few articles that I think could really help you. Even if you read them before it won't hurt to refresh - your memory.

1. How to listen to a person living with dementia.

This clearly is one of my favorite articles. It has been shared over 5,800 times.

I learned how to better understand Dotty by listening to her. I found that she often was offering me the key to the city if I listened. It took a while for me to figure out - why did she want to move back to south Philadelphia? She hadn't lived there in 60 years. I finally figured out that living in Philly as a child was a nice safe, secure place for my mom. She had here mom and dad to take care of her. This she could remember. In Philly she could make sense of things. Why wouldn't she want to go back?


This got me to thinking that I had to make sure that Dotty understood she was living in a safe secure place. So I started reassuring her daily. The role of reassurance should not be underestimated, nor should the importance of daily reassurance be underestimated.


It was at that point I started to develop some ideas. Always be kinder than you feel. Meet meanness with kindness, a kind of do the exact opposite of what they are doing.

"The bottom line you have to relax, listen, lean up against the wall and figure out what your dementia patient is really saying. And then take some positive action". This really does work. And once you get the hang of it, you won't really believe the result you will start getting.



More

10 Tips for Caregivers

Should you correct someone with dementia?


Related

What's the Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia

Test Your Memory for Dementia and Alzheimer's (5 Best Tests)

How to Give the Greatest Hug Ever Invented


Questions about Alzheimer's and dementia care? Get the Answers

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide.

The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.

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