Let's write out 'tips' for newbies. Can we reach 100?

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We all have in the trenches experience that can help others caring for loved ones with dementia - lets share them


#1 - if a person with dementia was always mean & complaining then they will be even more so until dementia is so advanced that they don't do anything - don't expect a mean person to become a nice, friendly person just because they are ill ....rather the opposite
#2 - a person with dementia is basically a 3 year old with baggage - how would you deal with a small child - bring them a small treat like a coffee & doughnut, a small plant, a picture of a family member
#3 - A caregiving agreement is helpful to all parties. Consider putting one in place.
Their thinking is different now, and you must find other ways to get cooperation.
A dementia patient is not the person you once knew and you cannot reason with them, or lecture or teach them, no matter how hard you try. All you will do is upset yourself, and them and they won't remember it, but you will.
Think of a difficult dementia patient as someone with 2-3 year old emotions and behavior (that unfortunately, unlike a child will not get better) That person still has the verbal ability of an adult.
Experiment, and just like with a child, give them lots of love, patience and you will discover how to get them to respond the best without stressing both of you.
#5. Drink water
#5 - Playing music from their younger years is a great way to engage and entertain someone with dementia. I've heard fidget mats are good, too.
#7 when you make a doctor appointment for a loved one... tell your loved one the appointment is a half hour earlier than appointed. You will find you will need that extra half hour to help find their coat, their hat, their wallet, their cane, their glasses, and trying to get them into the car.
#6. They may fall, never grab onto their hands or forearms-it may make it worse. Even telling the really independent to fall into you and you both will slowly lower to the ground will be a problem. Yesterday, as our elder started to fall, my hubs was standing so close, without touching him, he was behind him and uprighted him by his underarms, whew! Then I saw a two-year-old-like maneuver, flinging his arms as if-don't touch me! No fall though!
9. Hand them the bottled water with a smile, while cracking it open.
10. Post a calendar on the fridge, add who is going to show up and when if you have a volunteer caregiving team.

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