I can't get my husband to change his clothes and he is still refusing to bathe, he makes me so angry, can you help?
The issue of seniors who used to take regular showers and always wore fresh clothes and now are refusing to take showers and wear fresh clothes is far more common than most people realize. To solve this dementia challenge you must first understand why a loved one is not bathing or changing clothes regularly. The most common culprits for bathing refusal are depression, lack on control, dulling senses, far and discomfort, modesty and privacy and our approach. How many of us would like a stranger or our own family member to bathe us? Not many. So the approach must be gentle and patient, getting connected first, no putting task before relationship, having the right bath aides and providing warmth and comfort.
What should I do when my wife asks to go home and we have lived in this house for 30 years?
The memory is formed in layers and if you can peel pack the layers of time to find his or her time zone, then you can share stories of that home – whether it be on the ranch 50 years ago or military life 30 years ago.
When everyday tasks are becoming too difficult to do together...
As the dementia gets bigger, the greater the need for you to seek support or help. Build in time away to recharge and take care of your own needs.
Why does my mother, in a care home, summon the staff constantly and needlessly with her bell?
Why is she so persistent? Every time she rings the bell a smiley face comes and says “hello” – She was lonely.
ACTION: Staff doesn't wait for the bell to ring. They proactively say "hello" each time they pass her room.
RESULT: the bell stopped ringing, and she doesn't feel lonely anymore.
How do I deal with my husband’s hallucinations?
Approach on the dominant side, listen for details, and be sure to confirm the situation will be taken care of so they know they are being taken seriously. During conversation, talk about different topics, walk to another location.
What do I do when my father doesn’t recognize me?
Even though this can leave you feeling sad and angry, your loved one will still benefit emotionally from feeling special and loved. Don say "Don't you remember me, I was here yesterday". Take a moment to gather your emotions before you enter his room. Give him your name and enjoy being present with him.
How do I communicate with my mother in late stage dementia?
At this stage, your loved one will probably be bed-bound, sleeping a lot, little communication, and unable to express needs. Take time to assess the person, try and anticipate their emotional and physical needs. Use a gentle, soothing voice with rhythm in speech and movement. Be ready to connect in that 30 second moment of togetherness.
How do I cope and care for my parents how are both diagnosed with Alzheimers?
This is certainly one of the most difficult situations an adult child has to deal with. In my experience, where they live and how you provide the right level of care depends solely on their relationship together and their individual needs. In this situation, I would do a GEM State Assessment for each parent and work with care partners to overcome dementia challenges through approach and training. However, if safety is an issue for either parent, then living together may not be the right answer, and we would look at all other options available in the community.
Is anxiety a symptom of dementia?
Anxiety is very common for people living with dementia. Thought to be more prevalent with vascular and Parkinson’s disease, anxiety is common throughout all stages of Dementia.
Tips for coping with anxiety as a caregiver;
Play their favorite music
Friendly facial expressions and have a calm voice
Try "let’s" or "can you help me"
Maintain daily routines and slow down tasks
Don’t overschedule the day and limit exposure to too many people and loud environments
Provide reassurance and meet them where they are
How to avoid caregiver burnout?
Caregiver burnout is a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion. Caregiving is rewarding but it is also stressful and can lead to burnout.
I found Linda Osmundson’s lessons learned as she traveled her husband’s journey to be true and helpful.
“Caregiver lessons I learned as we traveled my husband’s dementia journey” by Linda Osmundson
Say “ I love you “
Let the doctor be the bad guy
White lies are ok
Keep a cheerful voice
Ignore most people’s advice
Avoid saying “remember”
Let friends help
Take over finances
Take care of yourself
Join a support group
Taking time away from work to deal with parental emergencies
More than 50 million Americans are caregivers, and half of them are faced with the difficult balancing act of earning a living and caring for a sick relative at home. However, if you have been working at least a year for a company with 50 or more employees, the Family Medical Leave Act lets you take up to 12 weeks of unpaid annual leave without losing your medical benefits or job.
Nearly two-thirds of working caregivers have to rearrange their work schedule, cut their hours or take unpaid leave to meet their responsibilities. Some forward-thinking companies hire an onsite elder care case manager, to support their staff with financial and care issues as a free resource.
Sometimes the only option is to leave full-time employment when it's apparent that their loved one cannot cope home alone. If this is the case, home-based and more flexible jobs are an option, gaining help from family and friends, or hiring help. As this role of adult caregiver is increasing, my thoughts go to these men and women and encourage them to place their needs on the weekly list of things to achieve. It reminds of the age-old situation of whether to be a stay at home mom or a working mom, ultimately the choice is personal and as a caregiver you must do what feels right for you, knowing that your loved one is safe and cared for.